Visits Conducted for 22 Churches Receiving Aid for Reconstruction in Yunnan

Members of CCC&TSPM took a group picture with believers in Yunnan Province during visits to Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture from June 5 to 9, 2023.
Members of CCC&TSPM took a group picture with believers in Yunnan Province during visits to Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture from June 5 to 9, 2023. (photo: CCC&TSPM)
By John ZhangJune 26th, 2023

Church leaders visited and surveyed churches in Yunnan Province that had undergone construction as part of relocation, renovation, and expansion projects supported by churches throughout China, responding to the call of CCC&TSPM regarding the sinicization of Christianity.

The visits and survey were conducted by a group of 22 people from CCC&TSPM, including Chairman Rev. Xu Xiaohong of TSPM, President Rev. Wu Wei of CCC, and General Secretary Rev. Shan Weixiang of CCC, from June 5 to 9. CCC&TSPM reported that this research was carried out in Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, located in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

In the province, which had 129 counties, 122 had poverty alleviation tasks that included 88 national-level poverty-stricken counties and 27 deep-poverty counties. 

In December 2019, Rev. Xu conducted research in Nujiang Prefecture and found that among the more than 40,000 Christians in Fugong County, over half of them (approximately 20,000 believers) needed to be relocated, thus requiring a solution for their places of worship. To address this issue, from 2020 to 2023, 17 CC&TSPMs and churches across the country raised more than five million yuan for 22 churches and gathering sites in Lushui City, Fugong County, and Gongshan County in Nujiang Prefecture. Nine buildings were rebuilt on the original site; nine buildings were rebuilt and expanded; three buildings were relocated and newly built; and one was reinforced and repaired. As of today, 21 churches have completed construction, and one of the churches has also received a piano valued at 16,000 yuan.

The research team conducted a survey starting at the Zhihuitian Church in Miangu Village, Pihe Nu Township, Fugong County (funded by the Beijing CC&TSPM), which had to be relocated to make way for road diversions.

The second stop was the Lisu pastor-designed-and-built Zion Church in Gongshan County (with a piano from Changshu Municipal CC&TSPM in Jiangsu Province). Rev. Wu Wei expressed his gratitude as he saw the worshipers of different nationalities gathering and praising God together. Then, the Mabiedi Church in Bapo Village, Dulongjiang Township (funded by Tianjin Municipal CC&TSPM) was surveyed as it had been destroyed in a mudslide in 2020 and was subsequently rebuilt with funding from churches around the world.

The fourth stop for the research team was the Shanghai CC&TSPM-funded Xianjiudang Church, which is located in the Dulong ethnic group's settlement. Reportedly, prior to the opening of the Gaoligongshan Tunnel, it used to take four days to travel from Gongshan County to Xianjiudang Village Church. Because of heavy snowfall, these mountainous regions were inaccessible for at least five months each year, making it impossible for the isolated Dulong population to enter or leave.

As part of their research, three groups headed by Rev. Xu Xiaohong, Rev. Wu Wei, and Rev. Shan Weixiang visited various churches on June 8. During one seminar, Wu discussed the rationale behind the sinicization of Christianity with respect to societal progress.

In the afternoon, the research team hiked up the mountain to visit the home of a Lisu believer for inquiry. The homestead belonged to an elderly couple and their granddaughter, a high school student who lost her parents when she was a young child and grew up with her grandparents. With support from the pastor of Yunnan Theological Seminary, she was able to attend school. Following exchanges with the family, the research team offered them financial assistance before departure.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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