When covid-19 stormed through China and the rest of the world in early 2020, it was hard to imagine the impact it would have on everyday life. Work from home. Schools and religious venues closed. Curtailed travel. Closed borders. Governments around the world varied in the severity of restrictions placed on life and work, with China implementing some of the strictest lockdowns.
We all remember the initial lockdown of Wuhan. Then, by the end of March, China closed the borders, with very little travel allowed in or out. Foreign residents of China who were out of the country had their visas cancelled and could not return. Chinese citizens abroad had difficulty returning to China as well. Inside China, public venues were closed for most of 2020, and those who tested positive were sent to quarantine hospitals.
While life in China was relatively normal in 2021, by 2022, the government had adopted a zero-COVID policy, which relied on mass testing of the population on a daily basis. Not only was China cut off from the outside world, cities, towns, and even neighborhoods were cut off from each other. The 26 million residents of Shanghai were locked in their homes for two months. The covid years also coincided with an increasingly tight political environment as well.
Then, in December of 2022, the government abruptly ended its zero-COVID policy and slowly returned to normal. While there are no reliable figures available, it is estimated that more than one million died in the first few months following the suspension of mitigation efforts.
During the covid years, we posted numerous articles about life in China, and specifically how churches were faring under the harsh covid restrictions. Here is a sampling of some of those articles.
- Praying for Wuhan
- Weathering the Storm
- COVID-19: The Response of Faith
- Living in Isolation
- A COVID-Fatigue Antidote
- Impressions on Returning to Post-COVID China
Now, as China and the churches there have emerged from three years of isolation, we are beginning an extensive blog series that will allow us to hear directly from Chinese Christians about the experience and impact of the pandemic on their churches and ministries.
We were interested in the answer to a simple question: During the three years of covid isolation and restrictions, how did you see God at work in your church, community, ministry, or campus?
The respondents were from various cities and provinces around the country. Over the next several months, we will be publishing their responses, which have been edited for clarity and length.
They are stories of ordinary Christians living out their faith in difficult circumstances. But most of all, they are stories of God’s sustaining grace. We hope that you will be blessed and encouraged.
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