Coronavirus: Threat and Opportunity

Returning to Australia from China during the Coronavirus outbreak: a personal experience

When the news came that Australia had also closed its borders to all Chinese nationals who did not hold a permanent residency, my heart sank. You see, more than half of the 200,000 Chinese international students are stuck in China. That includes a large number of the student leaders and students in various university FOCUS Christian groups, including my own group at Sydney University.

Letter from a pastor in Wuhan, China

The situation is so critical, yet [we are] trusting in the Lord’s promises, that his thoughts toward us are of peace, and not evil (Jeremiah. 29:11), and that he allows for a time of testing, not to destroy us, but to establish us. Therefore, Christians are not only to suffer with the people of this city, but we have a responsibility to pray for those in this city who are fearful, and to bring to them the peace of Christ.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinese-church-voices/wuhan-pastor-pray-with-us

Five prayer requests from behind the Coronavirus curtain

Having received numerous questions about our well-being and needs, I thought it might help to share some prayer requests from behind the Coronavirus curtain.

Wuhan Church: “Take care of yourself, your family, and neighbours with Christ’s Love”

On January 25, the eve of the first Sunday Service after the nationwide epidemic, a church in Wuhan (Wuhan being the source of the epidemic) issued a prayer initiative and notice on gatherings to advocate for prayers for the safety and health of medical staff (and their family members) fighting on the front-line, and also ourselves and our families.

http://www.chinachristiandaily.com/news/category/2020-02-03/wuhan-church—take-care-of-yourself–your-family–and-neighbors-with-christ-s-love-_8810

Coronavirus: Chinese pastors go digital

The capital of Hubei province, Wuhan is one of the most developed cities in China and classified as a “New Tier 1 city”. It is a manufacturing hub with a population of over 11 million and a land area of nearly 8,500 square kilometres.

Fear of the virus spreading has left the streets unfamiliarly quiet, and reports are also surfacing of churches cancelling outreach efforts and worship services.

Pastors are making use, instead, of various forms of digital media to shepherd their flock.

What is it like in Wuhan? – Video

Wuhan, the Chinese city identified as the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, has been on lockdown since 23 January. The Guardian spoke to residents, expats and tourists currently in the city about what it’s like living in quarantine.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2020/jan/29/my-anxiety-is-increasing-day-by-day-the-voices-of-wuhan-video

Serving effectively in the face of a pandemic

The deeper question to ask is, “How do we remain a strong light if indeed the darkness looms in the form of disease?” This is really a question of resolve and effectiveness under circumstances that are above and beyond what our world would expect us to endure. But God has different expectations than this world, and we must ask him what things he would have us do to prepare for the possibility of Avian Flu or other global diseases that could impact every facet of our ministry. This article was first published in 2006 after the SARS pandemic.

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/chinasource-blog-posts/serving-effectively-in-the-face-of-a-pandemic

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.

Continue reading “The Union Version of the Bible and the Chinese Church”

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.”

Continue reading “The Chinese Church and the New Normal”

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.

Continue reading “New Considerations in the New Normal”

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. 

Continue reading “The Chinese Church’s New Normal”

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!

Continue reading “Is Church a leisure club or a mission training school?”

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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