Facing Challenges, Chinese Churches in Europe Look to the Future (December 9, 2022, Christianity Today)
The lack of churches to worship at isn’t the only problem that Chinese Christians are facing. Many Chinese churches in Europe are also trying to overcome challenges such as a “hometown association” mentality, a commercialist attitude toward church life, and difficulties in transmitting the faith to the younger generation.
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Government / Politics / Foreign Affairs
Saudi Arabia signs Huawei deal, deepening China ties on Xi visit (December 8, 2022, Reuters)
The Chinese leader held talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, de facto ruler of the oil giant, who greeted him with a warm smile. Xi heralded “a new era” in Arab ties.
Newsmaker: China’s Wang Huning, a backstage ideologue and political survivor (December 11, 2022, Reuters)
Wang Huning, one of just two top officials reappointed to join President Xi Jinping on the elite seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, has carved an unusual career path as the party’s top theoretician.
Mourning Becomes China (December 12, 2022, The Atlantic)
Commemorations of the dearly departed are a licensed form of popular feeling that can make them dangerous moments for the Communist authorities.
China urges citizens to leave Afghanistan after Kabul attack (December 13, 2022, NPR)
China on Tuesday advised its citizens in Afghanistan to leave the country “as soon as possible,” following a coordinated attack by Islamic State militants the previous day on a Chinese-owned hotel in the heart of Kabul.
A Professor Who Challenges the Washington Consensus on China (December 13, 2022, The New Yorker)
Weiss has emerged as a kind of loyal and measured opposition to a rare case of bipartisan consensus in Washington—that China must be countered at all costs.
India reports a military clash with China at their border (December 14, 2022, NPR)
Rajnath Singh, who addressed lawmakers in Parliament, said the Friday’s encounter along the Tawang sector of eastern Arunachal Pradesh state started when Chinese troops “encroached into Indian territory” and “unilaterally tried to change the status quo” along the disputed border near the Yangtze River area.
Australia vies with China for Pacific influence, signs new security deal (December 14, 2022, NPR)
Australia has signed a new security deal with Oceania island country Vanuatu as part of an ongoing competition with China for influence in the Pacific. The new security pact covers humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, law enforcement, cyber security, defense, border security and maritime safety.
China diplomats leave UK over Manchester protester attack (December 14, 2022, BBC)
China has removed six officials from Britain – including one of its most senior UK diplomats – two months after violence at its Manchester consulate. The UK had requested the officials waive their right to diplomatic immunity to allow detectives to question them about October’s incident. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly expressed his disappointment that none of the six would now face justice. The group included consul-general Zheng Xiyuan, who denied beating a protester.
China sends 21 aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (December 14, 2022, Radio Free Asia)
China has sent a record number of nuclear-capable strategic bombers into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in what analysts say could be a warning against “foreign support” to the island.
Eyeing China, Biden says U.S. is ‘all in’ on Africa (December 14, 2022, Reuters)
Biden’s remarks, and the summit, aim to show that the United States is a better partner for Africa than China, which has sought to expand its influence by funding infrastructure projects in Africa and elsewhere. Chinese trade with Africa is about four times that of the United States, and Beijing has become an important creditor by offering loans with less stringent conditions than Western lenders.
The Gospel Crossing Into Chinese Culture (December 5, 2022, China Partnership Blog)
God has done an amazing work in China over the past decades. The author, who has worked with the Chinese church for many decades, shares his thoughts on the foundations of Chinese church growth, and how God has used catastrophe to draw Chinese to himself.
Drinking from a Deep Well (December 9, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
In his Perspective piece, ChinaSource President Kerry Schottelkorb pulls out some key quotes from the articles that will give you a taste of what you will find when you read “Chinese Christians in the New Era.”
Reflecting Together on the New Era (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
Watching the domestic news and reports leading up to and subsequent to the Party Congress, it seems we can expect a continuation and further development of the themes, emphases, and trends that started during the first ten years of the New Era.
A Decade of Change and Future Prospects (December 12, 2022, Chinasource Quarterly)
The most common association of the New Era is with China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, partly because President Xi was the one who began to use this phrase. While President Xi’s leadership has had an undeniable impact on China’s trajectory, there have been other important global and national changes that have contributed to the New Era being different from what we have known previously.
China’s Place in the World (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
While the beginnings of a more confident China had already begun to emerge in 2008, with the Beijing Olympics and the global financial crisis—which China’s leaders interpreted as evidence of the weakness of the US-led economic system—China’s move toward center stage has accelerated since Xi’s rise to power in 2012 and the start of what China calls the “New Era.”
The Church in China: Living in Babylon (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
This all suggests that unless there is some radical change in the Chinese government and its restrictive policies, Christians in China will continue to experience significant suppression and persecution in the future.
Where Is the Chinese Missionary Movement Headed in the New Era? (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
Although the missionary movement of the Chinese church is experiencing great restrictions and challenges, just as Paul was bold to preach the word of the kingdom of God and teach the things of the Lord Jesus Christ in a restricted and imprisoned environment, no one forbade him to do so (Acts 28:31).
An Interview with a Missions Leader in China (1) (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Blog)
This post is the first of a three-part series looking at the current state of China’s missions movement, its relationship to Western missions structures, and how the church in the West can work with the church in China to effectively train and mentor Chinese missionaries.
Chinese Christian Nonprofits and Reshaping Perceptions of Evangelism (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
Looking at the development of Chinese Christian nonprofits, as well as all Chinese nonprofits, there are two dates that stand out—the years 2008 and 2016. These two important milestones separate the recent development of nonprofits into three periods.
Expatriates Serving in China’s New Era: Recent Developments, Future Prospects (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
It is important to recognize that China today is not closed to expatriates. On the contrary, China still needs, and indeed welcomes, foreigners to work in many sectors of Chinese society. Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has, however, adjusted its regulatory processes and shaped the worldview of its officials in order to ensure that only the “right” kinds of expatriates are allowed to reside in China.
Fujian Church Celebrates 120th Anniversary (December 14, 2022, China Christian Daily)
A church in China’s southeastern coastal Fujian Province celebrated its 120th anniversary of preaching and the 100th anniversary of its building. A celebration was hosted for Xiangshan Church in Xiuyu District, Putian City on December 12, according to Xiuyu District CC&TSPM.
Society / Life
The Vanished Villages of Fujian and Qinling (December 10, 2022, The World of Chinese)
Two villages allegedly disappeared overnight in the last century: Where did they go? Did they even exist?
‘Panic-buying’ and shortages as restrictions are eased (December 14, 2022, BBC)
China is facing problems with stockpiling after it relaxed its most severe Covid-19 policies last week. People have been rushing to buy ibuprofen, cold medicines and Covid testing kits amid reports of shortages. Products for home remedies are now largely unavailable online, including lemons and canned peaches rich in vitamin C, and electrolysed water.
China pivots quickly on its COVID messaging — surprising many Chinese (December 14, 2022, NPR)
For three years, China followed a tough zero-COVID policy to try to keep the pandemic at bay. But policymakers have pivoted hard in recent days, dropping most testing and quarantine requirements and letting the virus spread largely unchecked. It’s an abrupt about-face that few expected so quickly.
Economics / Trade / Business
Hit by COVID wave, companies in China strain to keep operations running normally (December 13, 2022, Reuters)
From e-commerce giant JD.com to cosmetics brand Sephora, companies in China are rushing to minimise the impact of surging COVID infections – doling out test kits, encouraging more work from home and, in some cases, procuring truckloads of medicine.
Can China Keep Its Special Education Teachers? (December 8, 2022, Sixth Tone)
They help kids with developmental disorders ranging from ADHD to Down Syndrome and autism. They’re also burned out, underpaid, and, in many cases, poorly trained.
Health / Environment
The end of China’s national COVID-tracking app (December 12, 2022, The China Project)
The scrapping of the app was greeted with joy on Chinese social media, although people have expressed concern about what will happen to the private data that the app has collected and stored over the years.
Video: The mounting risks in Beijing’s COVID-zero reversal (December 13, 2022, The China Project)
Jennifer Bouey, an epidemiologist and the chair of the Department of International Health at Georgetown University, discusses the incoming wave of COVID infections that could strain China’s healthcare system and endanger the elderly.
Fearing Infection, Many Chinese Grab Unproven Items to Prevent COVID (December 14, 2022, Sixth Tone)
Canned peaches and electrolyte water have been flying off the shelves amid unsubstantiated claims that they defend against the coronavirus.
China says spread of Covid ‘impossible’ to track as infections soar in Beijing (December 14, 2022, The Guardian)
Health officials cease recording asymptomatic cases as shortages of medical supplies and testing kits reported in wake of sudden end to strict Covid policy.
History / Culture
The Xi’an Incident: When Chiang Kai-shek was imprisoned by his own men (December 14, 2022, The China Project)
On December 11, 1936, divisions in the Nationalist camp boiled over. Their brief mutiny against Chiang Kai-shek had momentous consequences for Chinese history, forcing Chiang to ally with the Communists against the Japanese.
A Missionary Hero With A Traumatised Heart (Field Partner)
Wilhelmina “Minnie” Vautrin (1886-1941) was an American missionary in China for 28 years, working as an educator and for a period as the president of Jinling College (金陵女子大学) in Nanjing. She is best known for her leading role in the protection of at least 10,000 Chinese refugees during the Nanjing Massacre in China. Sadly, the trauma of that dark experience caused her later to take her own life in the USA.
Travel / Food
China’s Sluggish Inbound Travel Will Recover in 2023: Report (December 13, 2022, Sixth Tone)
The country is expected to welcome more visitors as COVID curbs are likely to be loosened further next year.
All the Teas in China (December 14, 2022, The World of Chinese)
Asking for a “cup of tea” is no simple request in China: There are more than 2,000 types of teas, covering six categories—green, black, oolong, white, dark, yellow—as well as reprocessed varieties like flower and fruit-scented teas.
Language / Language Learning
Beyond tīng bu dǒng, part 4: Learning to process spoken Mandarin quickly and effortlessly (December 12, 2022, Hacking Chinese)
To understand spoken Chinese, we need to both extract information from what we hear, but we also need to use what we already know to interpret it.
In China’s Diaspora, Visions of a Different Homeland (December 12, 2022, China File)
Since I started writing about Chinese politics and society a few years ago, I’ve been questioning the ethics of my practice, whether weaving words about my birth country in a foreign land and through a foreign tongue is a form of trespass, a betrayal of my roots. I reckon that it’s the only way I can write. The physical and linguistic distance grants me limited protection. My adopted tongue is my first language of freedom.
China’s Vision for the World (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
Review of: The World According to China by Elizabeth C. Economy.
Setting these stories within the broader context of Xi’s call for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese state,” Economy lays out in detail how Xi “envisions a China that has regained centrality on the global stage; it has reclaimed contested territory, assumed a position of preeminence in the Asia Pacific, ensured that other countries have aligned their political, economic, and security interests with its own, provided the world’s technological infrastructure for the 21st century, and embedded its norms, values, and, standards in international laws and institutions”
Links for Researchers
Remaking the Church Catholic in Post-Maoist China (December 5, 2022, Brill)
This paper argues that in a rapidly changing politico-economic context marked by strict administrative control, Chinese Catholics have reestablished contacts with Global Catholicism through networking with missionary societies. More specifically, I look at collaborations which Chinese Catholics have established with the Paris Foreign Missions (MEP) to reassess the missiology of Chinese Catholicism.
A Reader’s Guide to Laws and Regulations of the New Era (December 12, 2022, ChinaSource Quarterly)
During the first decade of the New Era (2012–2022) there have been changes in laws and regulations that have impacted the church and Christians in China. A number of these have been referenced in various articles in this issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly. Here we pull together references for your convenience and further reading.
Pray for China
December 16 (Pray for China: A Walk Through History)
On Dec. 16, 1832, Zhu Qing (朱清老师) was baptized by Robert Morrison (马礼逊). Zhu was one of the first Chinese scholars to come to Christ, and he was the last of the four persons baptized by Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China. Zhu Qing was around 42 at the time and had been working for over a decade as a Chinese teacher to missionary colleagues of Morrison in Malaysia. Though he had been reading the Bible and hearing the gospel during that time, he had not become a Christian. However, during a severe storm on the voyage back to China, he gave his life to Christ. When the boat landed in China, all the passengers except Zhu Qing offered sacrifices at the local temple. He instead sought baptism from Morrison. After Morrison’s death in 1834, Zhu Qing worked at various times for other missionaries as a Chinese teacher and cultural mentor, providing invaluable help for them in understanding Chinese culture and customs. Pray for those now far from God to be brought near by the blood of Christ. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13
Image credit: Florian Wehde, via Unsplash
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio