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CCC&TSPM Delegation Visits Church Organizations in Hong Kong and Macao
2023-06-15 Source: this site

At the invitation of the Hong Kong Christian Council, the Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches Union and the Christian Sheun Tao Church in Macao, a 24-person CCC&TSPM delegation (including five academics) led by Rev. Xu Xiaohong, Chairperson of National TSPM, and Rev. Wu Wei, President of CCC, paid a friendly visit to the churches in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region from May 17 to 24, 2023.

The agenda of this visit was divided into two parts: the Seminar on Chinanization of Christianity in China jointly held by CCC&TSPM and Hong Kong Christian Council, and the visits to some Christian organizations, seminaries, churches and social service agencies in both Hong Kong and Macao. On the mornings of May 18 and 19, CCC&TSPM and Hong Kong Christian Council jointly conducted the Seminar on Chinanization of Christianity in China. Before and after the seminar, CCC&TSPM delegation visited Hong Kong Christian Council, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui and other 12 church organizations and seminaries on May 17, and from May 19 to 24. They had dinners with five Christian organizations including Chinese Christian Literature Council, etc. In Macao, the delegation visited the Christian Sheun Tao Church Hong Kong and Macau District Union Association, Sheng Kung Hui’s Choi Koi School Macau and St. Paul’s Church, Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service of Macao’s Village of Harmony, and Macao Baptist Church, during which they had several exchanges with local clergy.

Rev. Xu Xiaohong and Rev. Wu Wei gave speeches during the visit. On behalf of the churches in the Chinese mainland, they extended greetings to Christians in Hong Kong S.A.R. and Macao S.A.R.

Rev. Xu said, “The churches in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao are one family linked by flesh and blood. CCC&TSPM has long been concerned about the church groups in these two special administrative regions. This visit is a make-up for the previous one that couldn’t take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, which prevented us from visiting since the new leadership of CCC&TSPM took office. But it is still the first official visit by a delegation of CCC&TSPM after the pandemic, which indicates the special status and significance of churches in Hong Kong and Macao.”

In his speeches, Rev. Xu also stressed and hoped that churches in Hong Kong and Macao could “love the country, love Hong Kong (Macao), love the church and serve the country and society, so as to honor God and benefit the people.”

Rev. Wu said, “Churches in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao have had extensive cooperation in the old days. The older generation of our church leaders has laid a solid and healthy foundation for friendly exchanges under the principle of “one country, two systems”. We hope to see a strengthened communication and more cooperation in social service, theological education and church ministry to forge ahead and create a future together.

This visit has achieved remarkable results. The first jointly held seminar on the Chinanization of Christianity in China is of profound significance. That both clergy and scholars from the mainland and Hong Kong exchanged ideas over the Chinanization of Christianity in China not only helps deepen a correct understanding of the Chinanization among Hong Kong churches, but also clarifies misunderstandings. Moreover, remarks given by Hong Kong clergy and scholars are very enlightening and good for promoting mutual understanding. The coverage of the seminar by the Hong Kong media was prompt, which generated great attention and positive influence. The Chinanization of Christianity in China is the path that must take to achieve the healthy inheritance of Chinese Christianity, as a special dedication of the Church in China to the ecumenical church. It requires Chinese Christians in all parts to work together and shoulder the mission with perseverance.

The visit of CCC&TSPM delegation also strengthens the friendship between the churches in the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. Among the Christian groups, seminaries, churches and social service organizations visited by the delegation were both old and new friends of churches in the mainland. The face-to-face communication makes it possible to foster old friendships, build up new ones and have in-depth exchanges and interactions on certain important topics.

Rev. Xu Xiaohong, Rev. Wu Wei and other delegates clarified misconceptions and shared insights during the discussion. They mentioned the development of the Chinanization of Christianity in China, the society and churches in the mainland, the policy on freedom of religious belief, as well as the unwarranted suppression and defamation of our religious matters by countries like the United States. Their speeches allowed the audience to learn about the real connotation of the Chinanization of Christianity in China, the rapid development of the society of the mainland since the reform and opening-up, the healthy inheritance of the church, and further insights about the current international situation. Hong Kong and Macao clergy also expressed their pride in the fast-changing development of the motherland, their identification of national sentiments as well as their joy for the healthy growth of churches in the mainland.

Some Hong Kong church leaders emphasized that the churches in both the mainland and Hong Kong have faith in the Trinity of God, and believe in one Lord, one faith and one baptism. Culturally, we are nurtured within the same Chinese culture. We have a shared mission with a common history. Therefore, we shall have the same aspiration that is to express our faith in the Chinanization of Christianity in China.

A Hong Kong pastor pointed out that no matter where we come from, we are still one family and we are all Chinese. So it is very necessary to explore the Chinanization of Christianity in China. Churches in both Hong Kong and the mainland can grow together through increased exchanges.

According to personal experience of a poverty-alleviation activity in the 1980s, which was carried out by CCC&TSPM and the Amity Foundation together in Yimeng mountain area (Linyi City, Shandong Province), a leader of a Hong Kong Christian organization said that the people in the old revolutionary areas made great contributions and we should never forget that, and also expressed the hope to visit those areas again. With a devoted heart to the motherland, we hope to deepen cooperation and fulfill our responsibilities as Chinese Christians.

In the meeting, a leader of a Macao Christian organization said that churches had undergone many transformations after the return of Macao, especially the identity recognition. Back to the embrace of the motherland, we are truly one family. We hope that churches in Macao and the mainland will have closer interaction and more cooperation.

It is evident that fellow workers in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao have a shared sentiment, hoping that the seminar and visit marked a positive start. Under the principle of “non-subordination, non-interference and mutual respect”, CCC&TSPM will exchange and cooperation with the churches in Hong Kong and Macao, press ahead the Chinanization of Christianity in China, endeavor to run the church well, and contribute to the development of society in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao.

Translated and edited by Bei Feng.