Blog Entries in Our China Stories

Blog Entries

Who’s in Charge?

As with many Christian China narratives, the questions we ask shape the storyline. If “Who’s in charge?” is not the right question, attempts to answer it will undoubtedly prove unsatisfactory. Perhaps a better starting point would be, “How shall we lead together?”

Blog Entries

American Evangelicalism and China: A Necessary Conversation

Addressing his readers in China, Ren Xiaopeng asks, “If American evangelicalism is in such an intellectually vacant state, where would Chinese Christianity, deeply influenced by American evangelicalism and fundamentalism, go next?” Their answer will be critical for the future of the Chinese church—and, if we are willing to listen, for the church in America as well.

Blog Entries

Where Is the Church in China?

Today it is difficult to talk about the church in China without referencing China’s church outside China. Many leaders operate with one foot on Chinese soil and the other abroad, either by virtue of their frequent international travel or via offshore organizations through which their voices are amplified, making them spokespersons for a movement that transcends China’s borders.

Blog Entries

Just Listen

“If the… global body of Christ can be there and say, ‘We are together here with you. I have my struggles, and you have your struggles, but we are together, praying to God together and seeking his guidance and help together,’…that can be very comforting and can be an encouragement.”

Blog Entries

Sinicization: Culture or Politics?

The cultural and political aspects of the Sinicization campaign go hand in hand. At its core, the campaign is all about political control. Yet, given China’s culture of political dominance, it is also very much about culture—a culture of obedience in which religion serves the interests of the state…

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A Strategy Forged in Bethlehem

Perhaps in the glow of Bethlehem’s star we can begin to see the sheer incongruity of the China narratives we had come to take for granted. The reliance on cultural or political influence, the ability to project power through financial resources, the desire to win, the need to make ourselves relevant—these belie our core identity as followers of Christ…

Blog Entries

The Mountains Are Shorter, Part 2

Mountains today no longer symbolize separation, but rather strength, as suggested by another phrase, tieda de Jiangshan (铁打的江山). Literally meaning “rivers and mountains forged in iron,” it is commonly translated “iron-clad country,” a fitting description of the seemingly unshakeable state power being exerted throughout Xi’s China.

Blog Entries

The Mountains Are Shorter, Part 1

Today China’s officials are much less likely to turn a blind eye toward unauthorized Christian activity. Under the rubric of national security, Xi Jinping has shifted the government’s emphasis from aggressive economic growth to social control.

Blog Entries

Instrumentalizing the Church in China

In the polarized political landscape, China garners near-universal disapproval. The instrumentalization of China's church distorts reality for political gain, linking it with domestic religious freedom issues. Genuine dialogue is needed to address complex concerns and avoid silencing Chinese Christian voices.

Blog Entries

Indignation or Creativity?

One old-timer (a Bible-smuggler…) told me... “There is a lot possible when we function within the law. We can still head in all kinds of directions. There are always open doors in every country no matter how ‘closed’ they are. We just have to find them.”