Portal:Christianity in China

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Christianity in China (called 基督教, or Christ religion) is a minority religion that comprises Protestants, Catholics, and a small number of Orthodox Christians. Although its lineage in China is not as ancient as beliefs such as Confucianism or Taoism, or comparable missionary faiths such as Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity has developed in China since at least the 7th century and has demonstrated increasing influence for over 200 years. Growth has been more significant since the loosening of restrictions on religion after the 1970s within the People's Republic. Religious practices are still often tightly controlled by government authorities. Chinese over age 18 in the PRC are permitted to be involved with officially sanctioned Christian meetings through the "Three-Self Patriotic Movement" or the "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association". Many Chinese Christians also meet in "unregistered" house church meetings. Reports of sporadic persecution against such Christians in Mainland China have caused concern among outside observers. Surveys of the 2010s report between 30 and 40 million Christians, and other estimates between 50 and 60 million.

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Illustration of the distribution of Bibles in China up to 1908
Until the 19th century, no Chinese Bible Translations had been published, though translations existed, in private hands among the Roman Catholic churches, they were not distributed freely. Protestant missionaries, who arrived later, pioneered the translation of vernacular dialects, as well as the printing, and distribution of Bibles so that the knowledge of the Christian Gospel message could be more widely known in China.

The first Protestant effort to undertake the work of translating the Scriptures for the Chinese was made by the Rev. William Willis Moseley, of Daventry, in Northamptonshire, England. He found, in the British Museum, a manuscript translation in Chinese of a Harmony of the four Gospels, the Acts, and all of Paul’s Epistles. He then published “A Memoir on the Importance and Practicability of Translating and Printing the Holy Scriptures in the Chinese Language; and of circulating them in that vast Empire”. Copies of this memoir were sent to many Christian leaders.

The Archbishop of Canterbury recommended that the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge print the Chinese Bible; but, after four years deliberation, the project was abandoned...

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Dr John Sung after his first Singapore visit in 1935, about to sail for Shanghai
John Sung Shang Chieh (simplified Chinese: 宋尚节; traditional Chinese: 宋尚節; pinyin: Sòng Shàng-Jíe; Wade–Giles: Sung4 Shang4-Chieh2) a.k.a. John Sung (29 September 1901 – 18 August 1944) was a renowned Chinese Christian evangelist who played an instrumental role in the revival movement among the Chinese in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia during the 1920s and 1930s.

Sung was born in Hinghwa (now Putian), Fujian, China.

He grew up with a Christian upbringing. His father was a pastor of the local American Wesleyan Methodist Church. Sung also helped his father in church duties. On certain evenings when his father was either too busy or was too ill, Sung would have to lead the sermons as a substitute instead. Because of his early contributions to the church work, many church members referred to him as “Little Pastor”.

However, it took Sung some years of testing before he became the influential evangelist that many knew. In 1920 he was sent to America for his higher education. He studied at Wesleyan University of Ohio and Ohio State University. A brilliant student, he earned a doctorate in chemistry in five years. His chemistry essays and research documents can still be seen in the University library today.

Despite the array of career opportunities in front of him, Sung believed that he was called by God to commit himself to work for Jesus Christ. In 1926 he went to Union Theological Seminary in New York for theological studies.

During his period at the seminary (more specifically, on 10 February 1927) John Sung claimed to have received the gift of the Holy Spirit during a time of prayer. He once exclaimed, “This my spiritual birthday! Although I already believed in Jesus since my early childhood days, this new experience is a life changing one for me ”. John Sung described that “The Holy Spirit poured onto me, just like water, on top of my head”, then “The Holy Spirit continuously poured onto me wave after wave”.



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