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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The Chinese Church and the New Normal

Link to this article in Chinese

“You can take away my freedom, but not my prayers;

My prayers have wings; they leap over barbed wires and high towers.

Many brothers and sisters have heard them.

Ever free to fly, reaching the paradise above the blue sky…”

This poem, entitled ‘You and Me,’ was written by a pastor who is currently serving a prison sentence. He was engaged in children’s ministries

in the southwest minority areas for many years. He also extended this service to areas outside of China, to mountainous tribal villages that lack basic education. But because of this, he was sentenced to severe punishment and is currently in prison.

A Christian lawyer said, “One day in 2018, after posting a hymn on WeChat, my WeChat public account was immediately shut off, and dozens of articles disappeared.”

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New Considerations in the New Normal

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

(Lamentations 3:26, NIV)

Link to this article in Chinese

This year, the development of Christianity in China has come to a so-called “new normal.” The government has ordered the suspension of all forms of Sunday school and prohibited children from entering the church and participating in Christian gatherings. They stress that the State has the sole right to provide education.

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The Chinese Church’s New Normal

Link to this article in Chinese

Over the past four decades, the number of worshippers in Chinese churches grew steadily. As church membership grew, the church services matured and developed. Irregular worship times then became established Sunday meetings. Meetings moved from homes to larger rented spaces. Full-time pastors were hired, and land was acquired for church buildings. The church ministries also expanded beyond Sunday services to include teaching for children, care for the elderly, cross-cultural missions and community outreach. These four became standard ministries in churches across China. Despite their differences in legal status, house churches and Three-Self churches followed a similar pattern of growth. They came to resemble each other both in format and range of ministries, especially in the past decade or more. 

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Is Church a leisure club or a mission training school?

是俱樂部,還是宣教學院?(董家驊)2017.09.18

Link to Chinese article: 中文: http://behold.oc.org/?p=34504

Author: Pastor Dong Jia-Hua

Translation of article in “Behold” magazine by Keith Ranger

He says – “I recently attended a Conference of workers from a number of different places in North America on how to do lasting and effective evangelistic ministry in the lives of international students, especially in the area of being up to date and not behind the times in reaching out to those from China. The expressed need was for relevant and engaging methodology and really making an effort to keep up to date with ‘where these people are now coming from’ in terms of their expectations and priorities. Things can, and do, change so fast! We cannot, and must not, live in the past!

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The Church in China – An Introduction

A Chinese translation of this article is available here

This article is intended to be a brief introduction to the church in China for Chinese who have become Christians while overseas and want to understand something about the church in China before returning there.

A common misunderstanding by many Chinese today is that Christianity only came to China very recently. In actual fact the first documented arrival of the Christian faith to China is during the Tang dynasty in 635AD[i]. In order to understand what was happening in China, we must first understand what was happening to the Christian church in Europe and the Middle East.

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