Chinese Church Voices

Christian Netizens React to the Ya’an Earthquake

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

On April 20, 2013, a strong earthquake struck near the city of Ya'an, in China's Sichuan Province. Centered in a rural district called Lushan, the quake (magnitude 7.0) killed more than 196 people, and left tens of thousands injured and homeless. This was the first major natural disaster to hit China in the age of Weibo, which exploded with information, commentary, and words of sorrow and comfort. Christian netizens once again joined the conversation, offering words of hope and comfort. In the posts translated below, some of the writers note that everywhere they turn there are people offering prayers for the victims. Who are they praying to, they wonder. One post references a believer who lost her legs in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and is now, with the use of her artificial legs, helping survivors of this earthquake.Another post urges people to wake up, for the Lord's return is near.


The following phrase is printed on the back of the buses: Pray for blessings for Yaan. But if there is no God, who is it that gives blessings? The media say, May the victims rest in peace. But if there is no soul, what is it that rests in peace? They hope the dead can enter heaven, but according to what is taught, there is neither heaven nor hell. Then where would the dead go?


The beautiful teacher who lost both her feet in the Wenchuan (5/12/08) earthquake is now a brave volunteer on the front lines in the Yaan earthquake with her artificial legs. You have lived out Jesus. You have shown the love of Christ and have brought more people to know Christ and to know God. God bless you.


If there is no God, when we pray for our fellowman, to whom are we praying? If there is no spirit, why do we say, comfort the dead? If there is no heaven, where do they rest in peace? When everything is quiet and peaceful, you insist that there is nothing beyond, saying that death is the end; there is nothing more. But when disasters come, you hope there is a place in heaven for you. When things are going smoothly, you say that man's fixed purpose is superior to Heaven. But when floods and earthquakes come, you pray that Heaven will bless China. Oh, people who are praying for blessings, who are you praying to? And those who survived, who are you giving thanks to?


During the Yaan earthquake, I saw pictures of people who fled without even having time to put their clothes on. I thought, my dear brothers and sisters, are you awake? Revelation 16:15 says, "See, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed, not going about naked and exposed to shame." The time of our Lords return is near; let us be awake!

Image credit: Wikipedia