Time with a Living Legacy of the Chinese Church – Cultural Revolution Experiences

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Recently we were honored with time with a 70-year-old elder from a large Chinese church network. CP staff sat down to hear his stories and heart for China. It was a memorable conversation and we hope you are encouraged and blessed to read his words. God has done amazing things in China and CP stands on the shoulders of great men and women of God. Make sure to check out the rest of the series – Time With a Living Legacy of the Chinese Church – The Personal Story and Time With a Living Legacy of the Chinese Church – Prayers for China Today.

The Cultural Revolution began in 1967 and ended in 1976, and during the early part all of the Bibles were confiscated and taken away. Because of my family, the officials knew that our house was a meeting place. So the government officials came and took away everything connected to Christianity.

There was no warning, they just came. We were not scared.

If they found out that the Christians were gathering, whether you were a preacher or not, everybody was taken away. So we had a special person who was a watchman. When we were gathering he would stay outside and see who was coming. He was just a gatekeeper. He would stand at the gate and see if somebody was coming, then he would rush back to the room to tell everyone to be prepared and take the preacher to another family for safety. The government official knew that every Christmas the Christians were going to gather together and be in a certain location. [The Christians] would bring their own flowers and chickens, and the government would come and take away all of the things offered to the church. They even took away their bowls and utensils.

Once there was a miracle that happened. There was a man [in the church] who was mentally handicapped. He was taken away by the government officials. They bound him and treated him harshly. But he came back several days later completely healed.

One time there was a Christmas gathering and when the communist officials came to take our Bibles away, I said, “Ok, what’s wrong with us believing in Christ? Why would you take away our Bibles?” Because I stood up the officials took me away and I was thrown into a small place. It was several days before I was released back.


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Because the government confiscated all of the Bibles, there was only a single copy remaining. But later on we got a complete printed Bible because we had some connections with some overseas preachers. There was an incident that happened in China because some foreigners donated a lot of Bibles to try to ship into China; but, it was impossible, so those [Bibles] went into the ocean. But a fisherman found those Bibles and took them out. So even though the government customs blocked them, those Bibles got into China.

In the Cultural Revolution my mother was criticized and publicly humiliated – she was hit on her neck and on her chest. Because of my faith, I was also humiliated and I felt very pessimistic. During that time I didn’t dream I would become a pastor. My family was searched and strictly scrutinized by the government. I very much lacked in self-confidence and hurt a lot. That was the environment I grew up in – I was still in my teenage years. I was not a preacher yet.

Probably the two things that have most influenced me in my life where the Cultural Revolution, because of the political persecutions, and the governor who opened the gospel doors to China. These two things have been the biggest influence in my life.

When we were allowed the freedom of preaching the gospel, we were very satisfied. In the late 70s and 80s a lot of Christian ministries and churches were established and began to develop. It was unbelievable. At that time church buildings began to appear, and so did preaching and prayer – all of those things began to appear. We had trainings, and even eventually theological training. At the beginning when we were preachers, we didn’t even have a Bible. We had hand-copied verses, written out by hand rather than a printer. So all of these were big shifts.

The church is so big now; it’s incredible. Once I was asked the question, “You have been preaching the gospel for over forty years, what is the happiest thing in your heart?” I feel like the happiest thing was after the Cultural Revolution when I preached and so many people converted. I could pray for them, and that is the happiest thing for me – when we had a preacher preaching in the meetings, and we had so many people kneeling and repenting of their sins and praying.

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Further Reading

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Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
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Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
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Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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