China can be a difficult place to be a Christian. And it appears that the rules of what the government will allow from Christianity are changing, again.
Changes in Church Life
Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says their contacts are facing many of the same troubles other Christian organizations have expressed; the government is cracking down on Christianity.
For many churches, this means programs are being shut down.
“Sunday school is going away. [There is] pressure from the government to try to control and limit the scope of Christianity. And part of that is, I believe, that the church is still strong. And we visit folks that are doing great things and still have a passion for the Bible, still have a passion for evangelism, still have a passion to see the Church grow. And we know that when things are moving forward that the enemy will come in and try to thwart that.”
A New Focus
The growing pressure to limit the scope of Christ in China is changing the way many ministries operate. Bibles for China sees these changes as a way to broaden or shift their focus.
Instead of solely Bibles, they want to offer study Bibles and commentary sets as well. These items are more difficult to get to their partners. However, they are valuable assets for training younger, rural generations and lay-pastors. Because of security concern, these materials are handed out one-on-one to specific partners instead of en masse.
However, the focus on Scripture is not going away, Rovenstine explains. “We still will be primarily about Bibles, as many as we can, as far away as we can. You know into the remote areas, we’ll try to see that Bibles are distributed so that there’s plenty of copies of God’s Word if things would ever shift, you know, really radically.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert