Portal:Christianity in China

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THE CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA PORTAL

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Christianity in China (called 基督教, or Christ religion) is a minority religion that comprises Protestants, Catholics, and a small number of Orthodox Christians. Although its lineage in China is not as ancient as beliefs such as Confucianism or Taoism, or comparable missionary faiths such as Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity has developed in China since at least the 7th century and has demonstrated increasing influence for over 200 years. Growth has been more significant since the loosening of restrictions on religion after the 1970s within the People's Republic. Religious practices are still often tightly controlled by government authorities. Chinese over age 18 in the PRC are permitted to be involved with officially sanctioned Christian meetings through the "Three-Self Patriotic Movement" or the "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association". Many Chinese Christians also meet in "unregistered" house church meetings. Reports of sporadic persecution against such Christians in Mainland China have caused concern among outside observers. Surveys of the 2010s report between 30 and 40 million Christians, and other estimates between 50 and 60 million.

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Dr. Peter Parker
Medical missions in China by Protestant Christian physicians and surgeons of the 19th and early 20th centuries laid many foundations for modern medicine in China. Western medical missionaries established the first modern clinics and hospitals, provided the first training for nurses and opened the first medical schools in China. Work was also done in opposition to the abuse of opium. Medical treatment and care came to many Chinese who were helplessly addicted and eventually public and official opinion was influenced in favor of bringing an end to the destructive trade. The history of China’s current health institutions can be traced to many of the medicines, methods, and systems introduced by medical missionaries.

With time the expansion and growth of hospitals in China during the 1800s became more widely accepted. By 1937 there were 254 mission hospitals in China, but more than half of these were eventually destroyed by Japanese bombing during World War II or otherwise due to the Second Sino-Japanese War or the Chinese Civil War. After World War II most of these hospitals were at least partially rehabilitated, and eventually passed to the control of the Government of the Peoples' Republic of China, but are still functioning as hospitals.

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Dr John Sung after his first Singapore visit in 1935, about to sail for Shanghai
John Sung Shang Chieh (simplified Chinese: 宋尚节; traditional Chinese: 宋尚節; pinyin: Sòng Shàng-Jíe; Wade–Giles: Sung4 Shang4-Chieh2) a.k.a. John Sung (29 September 1901 – 18 August 1944) was a renowned Chinese Christian evangelist who played an instrumental role in the revival movement among the Chinese in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia during the 1920s and 1930s.

Sung was born in Hinghwa (now Putian), Fujian, China.

He grew up with a Christian upbringing. His father was a pastor of the local American Wesleyan Methodist Church. Sung also helped his father in church duties. On certain evenings when his father was either too busy or was too ill, Sung would have to lead the sermons as a substitute instead. Because of his early contributions to the church work, many church members referred to him as “Little Pastor”.

However, it took Sung some years of testing before he became the influential evangelist that many knew. In 1920 he was sent to America for his higher education. He studied at Wesleyan University of Ohio and Ohio State University. A brilliant student, he earned a doctorate in chemistry in five years. His chemistry essays and research documents can still be seen in the University library today.

Despite the array of career opportunities in front of him, Sung believed that he was called by God to commit himself to work for Jesus Christ. In 1926 he went to Union Theological Seminary in New York for theological studies.

During his period at the seminary (more specifically, on 10 February 1927) John Sung claimed to have received the gift of the Holy Spirit during a time of prayer. He once exclaimed, “This my spiritual birthday! Although I already believed in Jesus since my early childhood days, this new experience is a life changing one for me ”. John Sung described that “The Holy Spirit poured onto me, just like water, on top of my head”, then “The Holy Spirit continuously poured onto me wave after wave”.

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