Beijing in November features budding wintersweet ready to bloom. In an atmosphere of joy and serenity, the grand opening of the Tenth National Christian Conference in China was held on the morning of November 28th in Beijing. Over 300 representatives from 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities attended the conference.
At 8:00 a.m., Rev. Wu Weiqing presided over the opening worship in the singing of the hymn 'Love the Church in China'. Quoting the verses from the Gospel of Luke 17:7-10, Rev. Xu Yulan gave a sermon titled ‘the Duty of the Servant’ and urged fellow workers to serve in obedience, diligence, devotion and humbleness.
The figure in the photo above is Rev. Xu Xiaohong.
At 9:00a.m., the Tenth National Christian Conference in China officially kicked off with the solemn national anthem. Rev. Xu Xiaohong presided over the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. Wang Zuo’an, Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department and Director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs was invited to attend the conference. Master Yanjue, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China, Daoist Priest Meng Zhiling, Vice President of the Chinese Taoist Association, Jin Rubin, Vice President of the Chinese Islamic Association and Bishop Shen Bin, Vice President of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association attended the conference. On behalf of the Buddhist Association of China, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Chinese Islamic Association, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church in China, Bishop Shen delivered a congratulatory address.
Wang Zuo’an, Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department and Director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs
Vice Minister Wang addressed the opening ceremony. On behalf of the United Front Work Department, he extended warm congratulations on the opening of the conference, fully affirmed the work of CCC&TSPM in the past five years and cherished the memory of Elder Fu Xianwei and other Protestant leaders of older generations. In his remarks, Wang said that Christianity in China took the lead in bringing forth the vision of the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China, becoming the forerunner of developing religion in the Chinese context. He hoped that the new committee members would carefully study the spirit of the 19th National Congress as well as General Secretary Xi Jinpin’s important remarks on religious issues and religious work, and continue to promote the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China. Wang also hoped that the Christianity in China would always hold high the banner of loving the country and the church, further implement the reconstruction of theological thinking, carry out religious activities in accordance with the laws and regulations, strengthen team building among the Christian group and endeavor to cultivate qualified church talents.
The figure in the photo above is Rev. Gao Feng.
On behalf of the ninth standing committee of the national TSPM and the seventh standing committee of CCC, Rev. Gao Feng gave a work report on the topic 'Stick to the Indigenization and Contextualization of Christianity in China, and Run the Church in the New Era'. The report indicates that with the guidance God, the leadership of the Party and government as well as the concerted efforts made by fellow workers, the church in China has adhered to the Three-Self principle, built up itself on the most holy faith, and steadily advanced its ministries in the past five years. According to incomplete statistics, there are approximately 38 million church members, nearly 60 thousand churches and church-affiliated fellowships, over 14 thousand clergy, about 22 thousand full-time preachers and 22 seminaries in China. Over the past five years, CCC&TSPM invested over 27.7 million RMB in nearly 200 social service projects, directly benefiting over 260 thousand people. The circulation of Bibles is nearly 18 million. The number of books published and republished is over 5.5 million, in more than 100 kinds. CCC&TSPM also organized four intensive training courses for bilingual preachers in Southwestern ethnic minorities. Nearly 500 church staff from 14 ethnic groups in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi received the training. CCC&TSPM received 2564 visitors and 383 delegations from 33 countries and regions; and also organized 400 people and 107 delegations to visit 37 countries and regions. The number of seminary graduates is about 6300. CCC&TSPM subsidized 348 poor theological graduates with 2.08 million RMB. 85 people were sent to study abroad; and 25 were sent for short-term programs.
The report reviewed the work in the past five years, and pointed out four experiences regarding how to establish the body of the Lord in the new era and run the churches well. First, the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity is the only road that the church in China can take in order to adapt to the socialist society. Second, running the church according to the laws and regulations is the fundamental guarantee to the healthy and harmonious development of the church in China. Third, strengthening talent training is the key to doing church ministries well. Fourth, enhancing self-construction is critical and crucial to improve the management system of CCC&TSPM. The report also elaborated four priorities for the coming five years. First, the church in China should further strengthen learning to constantly increase the breadth and depth in the adaption to the socialist society. Second, the church in China should further strengthen the consciousness of the rule of law and run the church properly in accordance with the laws and regulations. Third, the church in China should further stick to developing Christianity in the Chinese context and implementing the Outline of Five-year Work Plan for Promoting the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China (2018-2022). Fourth, the church in China should further enhance self-construction and comprehensively promote church ministries.
Rev. Shan Weixiang explained on the revised constitution of CCC&TSPM.
Held every five years, the National Christian Conference consists of representatives recommended by CC&TSPMs in different provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. During the Tenth National Christian Conference, relevant papers will be reviewed and the new leadership of CCC&TSPM will be elected. The conference will end on the 30th.