COVID-19 vaccine likely required for 2021 ministry to China

By January 1, 2021

China (MNN) — The FDA has approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the second vaccine used by the U.S. so far against the virus. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved two weeks earlier.

Canada and other countries have begun using these vaccines as well. This week, the European Union began a mass vaccination of 450 million people across all of its countries.

Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is something ministry workers traveling between countries will have to start thinking about, says Eric Burklin of China Partner. “US travelers or international travelers who are going to Mainland China will most likely have to prove to the government there that you’ve been vaccinated. And that’s when you will receive a visa. [I had] a 10-year visa that is invalid now. And so I have to reapply for my tourist visa.”

Photo courtesy of China Partner on Facebook.

Burklin also wants to wait until the new U.S. president is inaugurated, as that will likely affect relations with China. “We’re going to listen to our brothers and sisters in China to see how they are feeling. Because there’s been a high tension right now between our two countries. It might not even be feasible right now to go over there as a foreigner to do any kind of work in China. We’re going to be patient.”

China Partner hopes to send a team to China before the summer and again in the fall, connecting with local pastors there.

China and politics

Relations between the U.S. and China have crashed this year, with President Trump often accusing the country of deliberately hiding information about COVID-19. Learn more about how 2020 impacted U.S.-China relations here.

Internally, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has ramped up pressure on many Christians and other religious minorities.

Despite the tense political situation, Burklin urges readers not to be anxious about the future. “We are not concerned, quite frankly, about the future, even the future direction politically. We just understand that God has all that in his hands, and he holds it in his hands and he is in control. . . Jesus promised that he will build his church, and He will continue to do so. And so we can have confidence that because of that promise, we can move forward and continue.”

Pray God will enable China Partner to give their pastor partners in China what they need, even if that means less traveling this year. You can help support China Partner to do this. Find out more here.

Most of all, pray the Chinese Church will continue its rapid growth in 2021.

 

 

The header image shows frontline workers lining up to receive the Moderna vaccine in Baltimore Country, Maryland. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)