中国的宝石

中国的宝石 ‘the gem of China’

 

Religious freedom and Chinese law
The current Chinese Constitution (adopted in 1982) grants “freedom of religious belief,” but only specifies that right as belonging to the individual citizen. It refers to, but does not define, “normal religious activities.” These two items have been pressure points in religious policy and law ever since. Article 36 reads as follows:

“Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.”

I receive the weekly Christian History Connection newsletter via email from Christianity Today. This week the news letter profiled the Church in China in an article entitled ‘Worshiping Under the Communist Eye’  (Source Christianity Today Read the article in its entirety)

In the newsletter, the church profiled ‘the former Anglican cathedral in a provincial capital’. The article goes on to say concerning attendance….

“it is jammed to the rafters. A thousand voices echo from the unadorned brick walls as they recite the Apostles’ Creed, and the elderly blind pianist, raised in a Christian orphanage until the Communist victory in 1949, leads her small choir through a lovely rendition of “Alas, and did my Savior bleed?”

From all indications it appears that the church in China is a growing and thriving spiritual success. Of course there is more than one church in China today. I am not talking about the distinction between protestant or Catholic or even the distinction in protestant denominationalism. The distinction that is seen in China is that of a visible church which is known as the state church- ‘Three Self Patriot Movement’ church and the other is less visible and it is known as the ‘underground church’. To the later, the article gave little or no credence, so it (the underground church) is what are in my thoughts in this post.

In the early 1900’s the only strong mission presence still present in China was from the ‘China Inland Missions’ that was founded in the late 1800’s by J. Hudson Taylor.

In the early 1930’s it was a time when other missionaries in China were declining, that CIM successfully launched ‘the 200’ campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to send 200 new missionaries into China. Missionaries that answered the Spirit’s call were the likes of David Adeney and John and Betty Stam. During this time of immense opposition by the enemies of the cross it was very dangerous to be a Christian, whether native born or foreign.

David Adeney, a Cambridge University student, came to China in 1934 where he worked with the students in China and served until 1950. He returned some 30 years later to find quite a different church.

For John and Betty Stam the story ended quite differently. They did not leave China to return some 30 years later as Adeney. They left, carried to the loving arms of our blessed Savour. Like Stephen, they being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

This is still the case for some in the ‘underground church’ in China today. They can loose all their material possessions, undergo severe beatings and even imprisonment, but just like John and Betty Stam, no one can separate them from their Lord Jesus Christ. 

I am convinced that the believer that has a strong enough conviction to stand with the same faithfulness as Christ stood, that no man can even take their life, they lay it down.. just like He did. Many in the underground church are doing such for His honor and glory.

malachi

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