Chinese Church Voices

More on Thriving in Lockdown

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.


Last week we read how Christians in Shanghai celebrated Easter this year during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. The article mentioned the advice of Mr. Jiang “a brother who is engaged in cultural ministry.”  In this article from China Christian Daily we learn more about Brother Jiang and additional advice and encouragement from him for those facing the rigors and restrictions of lockdown.

Christian Playwright’s Tips on How to Avoid Depression and Stress During Lockdown

Christian playwright Jiang Yuanlai speaking on ” Great Art Must Be about Ultimate Concerns” in February, 2022.

In March of this year, there were COVID-19 resurgences in Guangdong, Jilin, Shanghai, and other places resulting in many people facing the reality of home quarantine or lockdown. Since April 1 Pudong and Puxi Districts were locked down one after another. In such trying days, Christian playwright and music connoisseur Jiang Yuanlai was asked, “How can one avoid lethargy and collapse, and survive during lockdown?”

In response this question, Jiang, considered one of the most important Christian playwrights in mainland China and also known as “the playwright who sleeps on the floor,” answered:

Of course, first, believers should pray and read the Bible—everyone can pray and read the Bible! At this time, you can also practice prayer and pray for all those in need. Then try your best to provide for minimum living needs such as arranging for your food. Even though I was quarantined at home, I tried my best to help those with special needs. Our brothers and sisters here asked for volunteers to help others in need, Then I had to be patient. I read excellent literary works, such as Dostoyevsky’s House of the Dead, an essay called “Peasant Malay,” Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and so on.

“Try to read the classics and don’t fall into reading the rubbish of the internet, it will increase mental pressure,” the native of Shanghai added. At the same time, he returned to his “an old refrain”—listening to European classical music and now especially listening to works of heroic idealism. 

At the same time, many families face problems related to their children. Children who are quarantined at home will ask, “How can we avoid going crazy and survive the quarantine?” Jiang suggested that the classical music component can be replaced with play suitable for children and family background music, as well as some excellent literary works suitable for their age group.

Jiang Yuanlai, a native of Shanghai, went to the remote villages of Heilongjiang over three years ago to “settle in the countryside.” Previously after he graduated from university, for many years Jiang was engaged in environmental planning for nature reserves and in field environmental research in government and research institutes. He became a Christian in the 1980s and entered the field of Christian culture in the early 1990s. Jiang began his drama writing at the end of the 1990s and has been recognized by critics as one of the most important folk playwrights in mainland China.

Original article: “Christian Playwright’s Tips on How to Avoid Depression and Stress During Lockdown,”China Christian Daily.
Edited and reposted with permission.

Image credit: charlesdeluvio on Unsplash.
ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

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