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American public impressed by Bible Ministry Exhibition of Church in China
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-05-20 17:16
"It's unbelievable, it's exciting," Peggy Smith, a Presbyterian from Atlanta, Georgia, said at the ongoing Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Church in China on Friday.

Smith, who attended the opening ceremony and visited the exhibition at the Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, said her father was born in China in the 1880s, and spent many years in China.

She went to Shanghai, China's largest city, in 1980 to try to find the church her father once worked decades ago, Smith said. She did find it, but all its doors were closed.

And then to her surprise, one of the doors opened and it turned out that somebody was out to dispose of garbage, Smith added.

It was all by chance she could get in the church to have a look, she said.

Many changes have taken place with the Church in China since Smith's visit shortly after China adopted the reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s.

The exhibition in Atlanta, the second stop of a three-leg tour in the United States, provides an opportunity for the American public to get understanding of the development of Christianity in China in recent years.

Many people, after visiting the exhibition, said what was exhibited was a surprise to them, and helped them know more about Chinese religious affairs.

This is the first time that the Church in China presents the exhibition abroad, sponsored by China Christian Council, and the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China.

Through pictures, art works, performances and the Bible of various editions published at different times, the exhibition tells the American public of the early history of the Bible in China, the Bible publication and distribution in China since 1980,and church life in China.

Rev. Dr. Cao Shengjie, president of China Christian Council, said that from 1980 to 2005, over 40 million copies of the Bible were published in China. During the exhibition, the art works by Christian artists and performance by China's Lisu ethnic minority singers reflect the colorful life of the Church in China.

The exhibition is a significant event in the history of exchange between churches of China and the United States, and will surely enhance the understanding between churches of the two countries, as well as the exchange and friendship between churches and peoples of the two countries, she said.

Dr. David Sapp, the senior pastor of the Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, said the exhibition, while displaying the Bible, also expresses the wishes of the Church in China to conduct friendly exchanges with foreign churches, and is of significance in deepening exchanges and cooperation between churches of the two countries.

The Bible was brought to China as early as from 635 A.D., during the Tang Dynasty, according to information provided by the delegation of the Church in China.

From 1980 to the end of 2005, the China Christian Council and the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China published over 40 million copies of Bible of various editions, of minority languages, Braille Bible and Pictorial Bible for children.

Statistics several years ago showed that there were about 16 million Protestant Christians in China, and the number is still growing.

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