By Editorial Staff
Published April 24, 2008
- MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS
A new survey has determined that there are approximately 30 million Protestant Christians in China. The province-by-province survey, commissioned by News Network International, includes those attending the state-sanctioned Protestant Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) churches and those meeting in independent and underground house churches. The figure is nearly four times greater than the official TSPM census of 9.2 million Protestants, although some say the numbers may be too conservative, and that there are actually more Christians in China. According to the study, only 30 percent of China’s Protestant population attends TSPM churches, while at least 70 percent worship unregistered house churches or meeting points. (NNI, China News and Church Report)
- ENGLAND’S ARCHBISHOP VISITS CHINA
Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the 80-million-member Anglican Church, recently completed an 11-day visit to China to meet with leaders of the country’s official Protestant Church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). Carey visited Nanjing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing, where he met primarily with TSPM church leaders, but had contact with some government officials as well. The stated aim of his visit was “to encourage and support Chinese Christians” and “to be seen as a bridge-builder.” Carey did not meet with leaders of China’s vast underground house church movement.
(China News and Church Report, South China Morning Post)
- BEIJING STUDENTS ATTEND CHURCH
In Beijing’s university district, the Haidian Protestant Church is filled to capacity every Sunday, mostly with students. (Newsweek)
- MORE REGULATIONS, MORE PRESSURE
Christians in China’s unofficial house churches say that 1994 government regulations regarding religion have increased pressure on them. Under the new regulations, they say they are totally unprotected and open to persecution if they continue to refuse to register their meetings. While the government is stopping short of mass arrests, there does seem to be a widespread effort in many areas to force house church Christians to register with the authorities and to stop their evangelistic activities, which have been so successful. (NNI)
- TIGHTER CONTROLS ON CHURCHES FUEL GROWTH
According to a former Chinese government worker, authorities in Beijing have started a campaign to tighten control for the next two years. The clampdown, referred to as zhonghe zhili, or “comprehensive rule,” reportedly began on September 1 and will run until August 31, 1996. Targets of control include criminals, evil elements, triads, armed robbers, drug rings, prostitutes, pornographic businesses, corrupt party and government officials, advocates of democracy, those having illegal pregnancies, those engaged in illegal printing, those spreading superstition, and those involved in illegal religious activities, which would include China’s many house church Christians. Wide-scale arrests of habitual criminals, gamblers, and others began in late August. On average, 30 to 60 persons were arrested from each township in central China. About 100,000 people were taken into custody during the first two weeks of September. House church leaders feel that any increase in persecution will not be able to stop Christians from their ongoing evangelistic efforts. In fact, they believe it might even help to stimulate further church growth. (China News and Church Report, Radio France International)
- INTELLECTUALS STUDY CHRIST
Intellectuals have always played a significant role in China’s history. Traditionally, officials in China have been chosen from among the intellectual elite. At this critical time, many Chinese intellectuals are looking to Christianity and wondering what role it played in the development of Western culture and democracy. Many scholars are studying and writing about Christian theology and the history of Christianity. (China Ministries International)
- REVIVAL IN CHINA
In Sichuan Province, more than 90,000 people became Christians in a recent four-month period. More than 40,000 became Christians in one month, and the rest converted after a major crackdown on Christians. More than 10,000 were water baptized in a two-month period. This is just one of many places in China where Christianity is growing rapidly. A house church leader in Guangdong recently requested 100,000 Bibles and Christian literature from an outside supplier. He said that would satisfy only the immediate need of those to whom he ministers.
- BLACK MARKET BIBLES
Ministries that bring Bibles into China say many of the books end up on the black market where they bring high prices. Chinese claiming to be Christians receive deliveries of Bibles and other spiritual books and sell them to make a profit. A man from Pingdingshan, Henan Province, said he can sell a simplified character New Testament on the black market for RMB 30, while a study Bible with explanatory notes will sell for RMB 500. A similar report came from Anhui Province. Christians in these two provinces have annual incomes averaging RMB 700-800 a year, or about $100. (China News and Church Report)
- CHRISTIANS IMPRISONED
According to a report by the Washington-based Puebla Institute, at least 100 Protestant and Catholic clergy and church leaders are still imprisoned or under house arrest throughout the country. This figure, Puebla admits, is likely to be only a fraction of the true number of Christians in laogai (labor camps). More than 30 new cases of church workers being sentenced to prison terms of up to three years were recorded in the past year, Puebla said. Most have been detained for distributing Christian literature, holding unregistered Bible training seminars or meeting with foreigners. In Henan and Anhui, commonly regarded as the center of the Chinese Protestant house church movement (unregistered churches), PSB officials have arrested hundreds of unregistered church members in the past 12 months. (NNI)
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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