In China’s northern Shanxi Province, the Yaodu District Church in Linfen City issued an emergency notice, saying that all fellowships, groups, and meeting sites in the city were to suspend all worship activities.
On January 9, the Yaodu District Church announced that due to the domestic coronavirus pandemic prevention and control situation, all pastoral areas, churches, and gathering sites were required to suspend worship services. In the District Church, live services were held on Sunday morning and Thursday evening to replace in-person services, following the guidelines of the local government.
On the second Sunday of this New Year, based on Isaiah 30: 1-18 and 35: 10, Rev. Geng Fuqin gave a sermon entitled, Return--A Way to Grace, in the online service.
Since the first month of 2020, the churches switched over to online services, undergoing the "two suspensions, one postponement", which referred to "closing religious activity sites, suspending group religious activities and postponing the opening of religious colleges". Till September 2020, the District Church resumed in-person services. Five services were held on Christmas Eve and Christmas, following COVID-19 protocols.
Before the celebration of Christmas, in addition to preparing the prevention materials, the 22 church sites carried out fire drills to meet the criteria of reopening.
As Shanxi is adjacent to Hebei Province, where the capital city of Shijiazhuang had a severe pandemic situation, on-site services were suspended.
(The author is a special contributor to the Gospel Times. The article is originally published by Gospel Times.)
-Translated by Abigail Wu