Roman Catholics entered China in the mid-1600s when Jesuits advised the imperial court, and hundreds of missionaries came in the centuries that followed. After 1949, Mao Zedong cut ties with the Vatican and “official” bishops who followed the Communist government’s mandate to separate from the Church in Rome began to ordain their own clerics. Since then, “official” and “underground” Catholics loyal to the Vatican have lived side by side in China. Both groups were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), but since the late seventies, the pressure on officially sanctioned groups fell off even as underground Catholics were forced to watch their churches be demolished and their clerics imprisoned for being loyal to Rome. In the last few years though, “official” and underground” churches have begun to merge informally. By now the Holy See and Beijing both have approved nearly all of China’s bishops. In some congregations the two groups even worship together while at the top, Beijing and the Vatican try to resolve fifty years of feuds.