Chinese Church Voices

Shenzhen Airport Prayer Room

Chinese Church Voices is an occasional 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.

Chinese Christians are thrilled that there is a prayer room in the new Shenzhen airport. 

A new terminal at Shenzhen's Bao'an airport opened last month. Here's what CNN has to say about it:

Unhinge your jawShenzhen Baoan International Airports avant garde and eco-friendly new terminal is now open for fliers.The futuristic building in the southern Chinese city replaces three airport terminals, which ceased operation on Wednesday following three test runs of the new facility.Shenzhen's new terminal, designed by FUKSAS, an Italian architectural firm, resembles a mobula, commonly known as a flying ray.The connection? The Chinese word for "blessed" sounds like "mobula."The new terminalwhich reportedly cost 8.5 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) to constructis three times larger than the current terminals combined, providing 76 airplane slots.Although it's far from being the biggest in ChinaBeijings new Terminal 3 is about twice as large the 451,000-square-meter new terminal in Shenzhen, which is about 40 kilometers from Hong Kong, could very well be one of its greenest.The terminal has 200 check-in counters and approximately 200 shops.

But something else about this new terminal has caught the attention of many Christians in China: the fact that it has a prayer room.

The Christian Times picked up the story:

Recently, a sign reading Prayer Room has become a hot topic. On social media, Christians have been sharing the news about the newly established prayer room at the Shenzhen airport. It is being reported that on November 28, Shenzhen airport will open a prayer room in the new Terminal 3 building. That day also happens to be Thanksgiving Day. What is attracting everyones attention is that in the international departures area of Terminal 3, a prayer room has been set up to meet the needs of religious believers. This makes many Christians excited and thankful. It shows that the nation is increasingly valueing the spiritual needs of people.

One of the first cities to receive the benefits of the Reform and Opening Policy, Shenzhen is a booming city. It is establishing links with international partners, absorbing aspects of international culture, and blazing new trails. Likewise, in Shenzhen, the gospel is similarly dynamic and flourishing. In the past, one often heard that on the highways and in the airports of foreign countries there were prayer rooms; this made many Chinese Christians somewhat envious. But today, Shenzhen has joined their ranks.

Recently, Christians have been sharing and re-sharing micro-blog posts about Shenzhen airports new prayer room in the new terminal. One post reads: What is attracting everyones attention is, a prayer room was established in the new terminal. Thanks, God! Thanks be to God!

This kind of news is re-posted everywhere, and one by one, Christian netizens have joined the discussion: Brothers and sisters, remember to pray when boarding a flight. It will fill your trip with peace, joy, and the presence of God. Hallelujah! May the glory of the Lord fill China.

Journalists from the Christian Times website interviewed some pastors and Christian believers to ask their opinions and feelings on this topic.

Pastor Jiang of Shanghai shared, Shenzhen has benefited from the Reform and Opening Policy and is focused on building international links. They know that people place a high importance on spiritual health, and the number of believers is constantly increasing. Peoples hearts need rest; they need to find a safe harbor. This actionestablishing a prayer roomis a demonstration that the country is placing an importance on humanization, and it is being affected by and learning more about peoples spiritual needs. The establishment of this airports prayer room indicates Chinese peoples understanding of religious beliefs has risen to a higher level.

A Chinese netizen made this comment: Seeing the country respect religious beliefs should make Christians spring up and share light. Prayer brings rejuvenation.

Another person, a Christian brother from Shenzhen, shared three statements: 1. The Chinese governments openness toward religion is drawing closer to international standards. 2. When their lives are at risk, people have an instinct to pray. It is just that to whom they are praying is not always clear. 3. Praying in the public arena can help more people enjoy and learn about the importance of religious beliefs. It has a positive effect on people in terms of their intellectual and spiritual civility.

This small sign reading Prayer Room will lead to more reflection. Not only will the intellectual and spiritual civility of Chinese people be promoted, but the gospel will also go forth.

Original article: 感恩:深圳机场新设祈祷室 中国人越来越重视信仰力量

Image credit: Wikipedia


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