Resources on Contemporary Society
Street of Eternal Happiness
A Book Review
Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams along a Shanghai Road by Rob Schmitz the stories of families and their neighbors living along one road in the former French Concession of Shanghai.
Chinese Church Voices
Why China Needs a Higher Righteousness
In June, video footage of a tragic traffic accident surfaced online, once again prompting questions of morality in Chinese society by Chinese netizens. The incident occurred on April 21 in Zhumadian, Henan province. The video shows a woman who was blindsided by one car while crossing the street and left there by pedestrians. Several people and several cars pass through the intersection without stopping to help. Sadly, the woman is struck again by another car and killed. In this article from the journal Territory, Pastor An analyzes the incident and comments that a cold wave of self-righteousness has swept through Chinese society and says, “what we need is a higher righteousness” to counter this wave of self-righteousness.
Youth in China
Recent research on church leaders in China conducted by ChinaSource and others revealed that one of their chief concerns is raising up the next generation. Youth ministry is still a relatively undeveloped area, but, as the quotes in this month's Lantern show, the needs are great. Please join us in praying for a breakthrough among China's young people.
Chinese Church Voices
Responding to Despair, Part 2
"Blue Whale" or Christian Faith?
Last week we posted the first part of an article from Territory about the entrance of the “death game” Blue Whale into China and its effect on teens in China. Part one detailed the workings of the game. The second part describes a Chinese Christian’s response to the game and the gospel’s message of hope for teens in China. This is part two.
Chinese Church Voices
Responding to Despair, Part 1
"Blue Whale" or Christian Faith?
Chinese news sources report that teens in China have fallen victim to a social media “death game” that has its origins in Russia. This game preys on teens who suffer from depression and encourages them to commit suicide. Through threats and blackmail, teens are progressively drawn closer to danger. The Christian journal Territory recently detailed the dark workings of the death game. The author of the article, A Qian, writes of his own experience with depression and how his faith played an instrumental role in understanding his depression. A Qian describes from a Chinese Christian perspective how the Christian faith provides good news and counters the dark hopelessness of the death game, particularly for Chinese teens.
Voices from Hong Kong
On the 20th Anniversary of the Hong Kong SAR
Were you hopeful or pessimistic about Hong Kong's future in 1997? How do you feel now on the 20th anniversary of the handover?
Chinese New Year: A Round-up
Today is chu-san, the third day of the new lunar year. China is essentially closed since everyone gets at least a 7-day holiday and many will be gone from their jobs or schools for a month or more. To give you a feel for how the holiday is being celebrated, here’s a round-up of some interesting articles that have been published recently.
The Chinese Dream in 12 Quotes
Since Xi Jinping came to power in late 2012, the slogan “Chinese Dream” has been one of the guiding principles of the Chinese Communist Party. The way the Party sees it, the essence of the Chinese dream is national rejuvenation, or making China great again, so to speak. The vast propaganda apparatus has been mobilized to convince people in China that their own personal dreams are inextricably linked to the broader dream of a rising China.
Over 30 Years of Observing China
ChinaSource Senior Vice President Joann Pittman lived and worked in China for more than three decades. In this retrospective, she reflects on the significance of some of the changes she has seen in China during that time. These thoughts are drawn from a lengthier piece Joann wrote earlier.
Homesick for Manchuria
Since I lived in Beijing for the last 15 years of my time in China, it’s not often that I get nostalgic for Changchun, the city in northeast China that was my home for most of the 90s. Lately, however, I have found myself thinking of my time there and the experiences I had. I am, dare I say, homesick for Manchuria.
Understanding and Serving in the “New China”
A review of China’s Next Generation: New China, New Church, New World by Luis Bush, Brent Fulton, and a Christian Worker in China. China is changing dramatically and rapidly—economically, socially, and culturally. These changes have affected the church as well. This book looks at the “New China” and the factors that have brought about the changes; it also examines how the church has entered this new society. Especially for those working with young people, who need to understand their mindset, this book provides a concise overview of key issues and influences.
The Many Countries of China
In his book, China Airborne, James Fallows takes a look at modern China through the lens of the country’s growing aviation industry. He writes in the introduction about what he calls “the many countries of China,” (p. 6) explaining the diversity and complexity of a country that we tend to (wrongly) view as a monolith.
Why Are They Lining Up?
In what has to be one of the most fascinating lenses through which to observe history and societal change, this short film chronicles recent Chinese history by looking at the different things Chinese people have lined up for over the years.
“We Don’t Believe in Anything”
If you want to find out what is really going on—I mean really going on—in China, ask a taxi driver. Since they spend all day conversing with people from all walks of life, getting various takes and perspectives on the issues of the day, few people have a better feel for the mood.
Lip-Reading in China
Here’s a question for you: how do you lip-read when everyone is wearing an anti-pollution facemask? One hearing-impaired woman from Great Britain found out while doing an internship in Beijing. She told her story to the BBC in "Toxic Talk: Trying to Lip Read in China."
We hardly even notice them anymore, and when we do, we probably either roll our eyes or chuckle. I’m referring to the ubiquitous “Made in China” labels that adorn our consumer goods. Televisions, underwear, souvenirs, computers—you name it, it’s probably made in China!
There were a couple of adoption stories out of China in the past few weeks that caught my eye. The first was an article in Christianity Today about the drop in global adoptions, as reported by the US State Department in their Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions.
One of my favorite China books is Peter Hessler’s Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory. Shortly after the book was published in 2010, a CNN travel reporter interviewed Hessler about the book. There was one particular exchange that caught my attention.
Two Meetings, Three Hands
Some things just don’t translate well from Chinese into English. Take, for example the annual government meetings that are taking place in Beijing this week. In Chinese the meetings are referred to as Liang Hui (两会), which literally means “two meetings” (sometimes also translated as “sessions”). Using such a term in English to describe a conference, however, leads only to blank stares.
Christmas Crowds in China | Part 2
Crowds of Apples
As I walked through the center of town on Christmas Eve, I was forced every few steps to maneuver around yet another vendor trying to sell me something. In years past the pushcarts had been covered with Santa hats and light-up electronic wands. This year, however, it was all about apples—enormous apples branded with fortuitous (or sexy) images and packaged in Christmas-y cardboard boxes.