The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, is part of an 11-member Canadian ecumenical delegation visiting China April 6-18.
The visit, organized in collaboration with the United Church of Canada (UCC) and the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) is to strengthen partnerships with the China Christian Council (CCC) and foster relationships with other Christian bodies in China.
“We will learn and share common concerns and challenges with the churches in China, by visiting churches and communities in urban and rural areas,” said Ellie Johnson, director of partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada and also a member of the delegation.
HIV/AIDS, congregational development, training of youth leadership and the impact of modernization in China on rural communities are some of the issues, which will be discussed during the visit.
Other members of the delegation are; Andrea Mann, General Synod’s regional mission coordinator, Asia/South Pacific & Middle East; Rev. Clarence Wing On Li, assistant priest, St. James’s Anglican Church in Vancouver; Marites N. Sison, staff writer, Anglican Journal; Rev. Ian Morrison, PCC, general secretary, Life and Mission agency; Rev. Ronald Wallace, PCC, associate secretary for international ministries; Margaret McGillivray, PCC, president, Women’s Missionary Society; Rev. Sarah (Yong Mi) Kim, PCC executive director, Women’s Missionary Society; Rev. Carol Hancock, UCC, general council minister, regional relations and Bernardita Jagunos, UCC, area secretary for East Asia and the Philippines.
There are two main protestant associations in China, the China Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee (TSPM).
In the early 1950s some Chinese Christians initiated the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which promoted the strategy of “self-governing, self-supportive, and self-propagating” in order to remove foreign influences from the Chinese churches.
However, during the Cultural Revolution, between 1966 and 1976, churches and Christians continued to experience persecution and many churches were closed down. Then China opened up, and in 1980 the China Christian Council was established.
The TSPM strategy sets the guiding principle of the Christian churches in China, “who generally see themselves as post-denominational churches,” said Ms. Johnson. However today, the church in China is growing, and there are more than 15 million Christians.
The delegation will visit Shanghai, Nanjing, Kunming and Beijing. Stories from their visit will be featured in the Anglican Journal upon their return.
For further information please contact:
Regional Mission Co-ordinator, Asia/Pacific/Middle East
Tel: 416-924-9199 ext.265
Program Assistant, Director and Asia/Pacific/Middle East,
Tel: 416-924-9199 ext.627
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