MNN (China) – Persecution, pressure, or religious freedom? In China all three are daily realities for Christians. With huge variances in the freedoms offered by local governments, there are some who worship freely while others pray in secret across the country.
Stories of religious freedom
The stories Bibles for China shares are often those of growth and excitement rather than persecution. The people they work with tend to live in places where they have more freedoms than their fellow countrymen. But they share the same passion for Christ.
Across the country, whether in small house fellowships or state-sanctioned churches one thing is clear: the Church in China is growing. Wendell Rovenstine, President of Bibles for China explains, “God is moving in China in unusual ways through those that have a Bible and are sharing their Bible with their families. And it’s a great opportunity that exists and it happens. And it’s something I think everybody resonates with, that [knows] that a Bible is a story that makes a difference for a family or individual.”
Bibles for China operates differently than many other Chinese missions organizations. Instead of working in secret with unregistered church bodies, they work in the open, in cooperation with the government.
Legal distribution of Bibles
Bibles for China uses their ministry to help oversee the legal distribution of Bibles. Along the way, they collect stories from Chinese Christians to encourage the global Church. Because their presence is legal in China, Rovenstine says the people they meet and areas they visit generally have religious freedom to worship Christ. There will always be the presence of Chinese officials in the Church, but people are genuinely pursuing a Christian walk.
This unique situation has provided many ways for churches and individuals outside of China to help bring the Word of God into the country. Rovenstine says, “At Bibles for China we’re working with the registered Church, [which] has tremendous opportunities to go internally into rural China and verify the distribution of Bibles. The Bibles are always distributed by the local Church.”
This model of handing over Bible distribution helps support the local Church. But Bibles for China is looking to do even more.
Planning to spread God’s Word
In March Bibles for China is going to be meeting with partners and churches in China to evaluate what worked in 2017 and what needs to happen to keep spreading God’s Word effectively in 2018.
Rovenstine says, “We want to go there and kind of make sure that the networks and relationships we have, with whatever the new regulations are going to look like, to make sure our infrastructure in China is secure. That we can get funds, that we can have opportunities to provide Bibles; that we can have Amity Press drop Bibles to the churches where we’re going. So the three of us will be there working closely with our in China connections and relationships just to get a look at what 2018 looks like, if there are areas we need to adjust or change, if there’s still an openness to provide Bibles.”
Additionally, they will be prioritizing new ways to be open with their partners and donors for integrity and transparency.
Please pray for this upcoming trip. Pray that God would work in the discussions Bibles for China will have with their partners and the decisions they make about the next year.
Pray that any new regulations from the government will not hinder God’s work in China.
Consider partnering with Bibles for China to bring more Scriptures to local Chinese Christians. To do so, click here.