As Chinese Church Voices editor Joann Pittman wrote:
Articles about religion in general, and Christianity in particular, are far and few between in the Chinese media, and articles that reference the house churches are even more rare. This article is particularly noteworthy for its discussion of the background of the division, its discussion of the Shouwang Church in Beijing, its relatively sympathetic treatment of the house church position, and references to calls for changes in China's religious policies.
In a post on the ChinaSource Blog, Brent Fulton discussed key points in this article, Estranged Brethren, and went on to point out that the article may be evidence of "a healthy debate within the [Chinese Communist] Party, where at least some have realized the futility of current policy and are seeking a way forward."
Understanding the Church in China and the complicated relationship between the Chinese church in all its various expressions and the government bodies that oversee religious affairs in China is a daunting task. It is further complicated for non-Chinese observers by the lack of first-hand information. And yet such information is available.
An article, "The Chinese Church: Past, Present and Future," appeared in the journal ChurchChina and does an excellent job of outlining the history of the Chinese church including an explanation of the division between the official and unofficial churches. The author discusses some of the key issues challenging the church today and his belief that a poorly developed ecclesiology has contributed to those challenges. He then outlines strategies for dealing with those issues and ends with a clear call to worldwide evangelism as essential for the future vitality of the Church in China and accomplishing the task of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
If you clicked on the link to read the full article, however, you saw the problem. The article is written in Chinese making it inaccessible to most of the Western world. If more voices from the Chinese Church could be heard outside of China there would be greater understanding and appreciation for what God is doing in their midst.
This is what Chinese Church Voices is helping to accomplish. "The Chinese Church: Past, Present and Future" has been translated and the first and second sections have been published. The rest of the article is soon to follow. It is possible to read what this Chinese Christian has to say about the Church in China.
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The ChinaSource Team
- Pray for greater understanding and good relationships between government officials and church leaders.
- Pray for those in authority who are seeking to bring unregistered churches into official structures.
- Pray for the salvation of government officials and for them to experience the love of Jesus Christ when interacting with church leaders and members.
- Pray for increased public discussion of faith issues and greater openness in the Chinese media for reporting about Christianity sympathetically.
- Pray for a good response to the Chinese Church Voices fundraising campaign.
Give Thanks to the Lord
This month in the United States we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. In addition to thanking God for all that we have in Jesus Christ and the opportunity to be involved in serving His church in China, we also thank God for you, our readers and supporters.
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