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.
Data labeling jobs in rural areas are empowering women and the marginalized while also aiding poverty alleviation. But as advanced AI begins to eclipse traditional methods, the future demand for such human-driven jobs faces uncertainty.
Xi may have more power than any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, but even he can’t fully implement his policy preferences.
Chinese House Churches Find Hope for Gospel Growth Amid Post-Pandemic Turmoil (November 16, 2023, Christianity Today) (subscription required)
Solomon Li, an overseas ministry leader who has served the Chinese church for the past 30 years, finally had a chance to return to China this year for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020. (Li’s name has been changed due to security risks.) He met with 150 pastors within one urban house church network and shared with CT about the new challenges and opportunities that Christians face in this post-pandemic era. The interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.
Listening in the Quietness: "Be Still and Know That I Am God!" (November 13, 2023, ChinaSource Blog)
Compared to the noise and bustle of the past, I was struck by the quietness of China this trip. This quietness could be due to the popularity of electric vehicles and the oppressive political environment, or it could be the trauma of the pandemic, or concerns and worries about China’s economic downturn and future… Compared to the past, the Chinese churches also seem to be extraordinarily quiet.
Mapping China’s Christian Legacy: The Story of the China Historical Christian Database (November 10, 2023, ChinaSource Blog)
If a relatively small sample could produce such new insights, what would become visible if someone looked beyond Hong Kong to all of China, included not just Pentecostal Christians but also Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Chinese-initiated movements, and expanded the search from 35 to 400 years (1550-1950)?