Chinese Christians march on in their faith.

By May 4, 2004

China (MNN)–It used to be Chinese Christians sang their hymns silently, in a room with closed windows. To openly worship Christ could mean terrible things.

These days, amidst varied reports, China Partner Ministries’ Erik Burklin says that scenario has exploded beyond the walls into the open.

While the underground church still sees persecution and government oppression, China Partner has seen church growth extend to the construction of seminaries and more new churches.

Burklin shares, “Here in Hubei Province, where I’m currently visiting, there are 500-thousand baptized Christians which only have 60 ordained pastors who shepherd these Christians. That is a ratio of one pastor for every eight thousand three hundred Christians.”

The risk of cults rising up is great, due to the lack of trained church leaders. Burklin says, “This is the challenge the Chinese church is faced with today.”

Their job is to help the church in China fulfill its goal to achieve the Great Commission. China Partner concentrates on Pastoral Training Schools, avoiding tangles with the government by remaining committed to do everything openly and in harmony with the Chinese Church leadership.

He explains the one method most effective in bringing more people to Christ. “It is lifestyle evangelism. Christians have a different way of living after they accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. This is noticed by those who have regular contact with these new Christians, and as a result, they are curious about it, this God that they have never heard about.”

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