Chinese Christians Use Zoom for Church. Their Government Is Making That Harder (November 30, 2023, Christianity Today)
On a hot night in August, Yong Shao, a small group leader of a house church in a major city in northern China, was about to start the weekly Zoom Bible study when he started receiving a barrage of messages from his small group members with an unexpected problem: Zoom wasn’t working for them. An IT professional, Yong went into troubleshooting mode. He suggested they update the Zoom app and switch to using cellphone data instead of Wi-Fi. In the past, these tricks worked when Zoom was down—but this time, nothing.
WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism planning group convenes (November 30, 2023, World Council of Churches)
Among other topics, the group discussed how its work will move with the WCC Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity. They also explored how the work of the commission intersects with other programmes of the WCC, including the Faith and Order Commission, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, Health and Healing, and others. Fundraising and reconnecting with partners were also on the agenda.
Asia Evangelical Alliance 40th Anniversary (1983-2023) – ACML’40 (Asian Church And Mission in a New Landscape) (November 8, 2023, AEA)
In the heart of a rapidly changing landscape, the 40th Anniversary of the Asia Evangelical Alliance (1983-2023), Asian Church and Mission in a New Landscape unfolded as a pivotal moment. Grounded in Joshua 3:4 “You’ve never been on this road before”, the Intergenerational Consultation of Kingdom Leaders delved into the intersection of church and mission in new and evolving landscape. 248 leaders from 24 nations, mostly in Asia converged under one roof to discern and envision the new landscape.
President Jokowi highlights importance of religion at R20 Summit (November 29, 2023, The Jakarta Post)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has highlighted the importance of religion, religious leaders and society in bringing about peace, citing the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Palestine inflicted by Israel. R20 ISORA has been organized by the Nahdlatul Ulama central executive board to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict and come up with a solution. Some 150 religious leaders from within and outside the country attended the international forum.
As Philippines’ Drug War Rolls On, Christians Continue Their Work (November 17, 2023, Christianity Today) (subscription required)
As Philippines’ Drug War Rolls On, Christians Continue Their Work (November 17, 2023, Christianity Today) (subscription required) “Let’s educate the younger ones,” Marcos said in a Taglish interview. “And those who are already involved [or already addicted], we should treat them. … We’re trying to formulate … the best way for the rehabilitation.” It’s a starkly different approach from his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, who outraged Filipinos and the international community with his brutal war on drugs, giving police blanket authority to kill anyone found using or dealing drugs.
We are excited to offer an Advent calendar, to help believers across the globe join together in asking for God’s mercy and thanking him for his blessings on Christians in China. Each day includes either an intercessory item or a praise item to focus on. You can use it in your personal or family devotional time or with a small group. In addition, please share this calendar with others in your network who are passionate about prayer. Download the full Advent Calendar Download the printer-friendly version
Initiating a conversation after conflict can be difficult for many of us; it is a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to grow stronger. Wang Jia’s story of how her father proactively approached her after an intense conflict illustrates the challenge and need for us to exercise this important muscle.
China closing hundreds of mosques in northern regions, rights group says (November 21, 2023, The Guardian)
Chinese authorities have closed or altered hundreds of mosques in the northern regions of Ningxia and Gansu, homes to the highest Muslim populations in China after Xinjiang, as part of broader efforts to “sinicise” China’s religious minorities, according to a report.
The measures that have caused the church to become less visible and less vocal are prompting Christians outside China to rethink how they hear from China’s church. Those who continue to rely on traditional sources of information risk becoming like the proverbial driver searching for their lost car keys under a lamppost because the light is better, while the keys sit undetected in a dark parking lot several meters away.
Chinese Christianity Endures, Part 1: Studying the 18th-Century Church under Authoritarian Rule (November 17, 2023, ChinaSource Blog)
Following decades of what we now recognize as relative freedom, conditions for Christian flourishing in China today appear to be deteriorating dramatically. Religious policy in China’s “New Era” is reverting back to the ruling elite’s instinctive distrust of all religion (zongjiao 宗教) as heterodox—as demanding allegiance to an alternative authority that is not just politically, religiously, or even ideologically different, but ultimately culturally other.