On Wednesday 9th November, St Nicholas was host to a group from the underground Church in China. In China there are 3 types of church, the State run church, the 3 Self Church and the underground churches. The State and 3 Self Churches are controlled by the Chinese Government who appoint priests and regulate the size of the congregations. The church is growing in China and evidence suggests that it is within the underground church that the most growth is occurring.
We met three Chinese Christians who are part of this growing underground network who have been using material produced here in Australia to disciple a growing number of Christians. Over 30 of our congregation came to hear the battles and encouraging stories that are coming out of China and were mesmerized by the beautiful psalm sung in Mandarin.
Our three visitors run the constant risk of harassment, and some church attendees risk detention by the authorities especially with Chinese President Xi Jinping officially stating that,
They should “merge religious doctrines with Chinese culture, abide by Chinese laws and regulations, and devote themselves to China’s reform and opening up drive and socialist modernization in order to contribute to the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.”
Reports suggest that there are 40 – 70 million unregistered worshipers in China and by 2030 China will have the biggest Christian population. Our own congregation members went away encouraged by the fact that people are finding salvation through Jesus Christ and gaining a deeper meaning to their lives.
One parish member summarised her feelings from the presentation, “How easy we have it here in Australia, I definitely appreciate our freedom”
Let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in China.