The Union Version of the Bible and the Chinese Church

“Fragmentation” and Church Foundations

Link to Chinese version of this article

Churches in China’s cities were once flourishing, but today’s intense political pressure is causing fragmentation with big churches forced into meeting in small groups. This is not like the ‘small group’ church movements in other parts of the world. It has not come about through the careful decision-making of mature leaders, but purely as a reaction to religious policies. And as if division weren’t enough, these small group churches are under constant threat of being reported by neighbors as “illegal gatherings.” There has never been a shortage of smaller group church meetings in China however, this is something new. The government publicly claims “freedom of religious belief for China’s people” yet, local church groups are being pursued and persecuted.

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Can I buy a Bible in China?

Various articles in the media and news over the last week have reported that the Bible has been withdrawn from sale or banned in China.  It’s understandable that we would be alarmed at this news and wonder what this might mean for our friends in China.  Thriving Turtles thought it would be good to give a summary of the situation as we understand it, and make some comments and suggestions:

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Bible Readings for the first month back home

Strength to Stand: 31 Daily Bible Reading Notes for Chinese Returnees

The first month back home can be the most challenging time for returnees to read the Bible regularly; they lack routine and can struggle to find time alone. However, it’s also one of the most important times to be constantly reminded of God’s truth and to establish good patterns of regularly listening to Jesus in their life back home.

LINC Ministries has produced this pack of 31 daily readings going through the book of Ephesians, aimed to help form a habit of Bible reading for the first month back home. Ephesians was written to Christians who had to go against the flow in order to follow Jesus, and who were tempted to feel insignificant and weak as a result. Like many returnees, they needed to be strengthened by knowing God’s big plan for the universe, for all of eternity!

Strength To Stand is available in Chinese and English. It can be found at http:// www.seaturtles.org.uk/bible-studies/ along with lots of other resources.  The link is under “Quiet Time Notes” use “Ephesians” for English and “here” for Chinese.