U.S. Christians hope that the upcoming China Bible Exhibit will bring progress to Sino- American Christian relations.
"The point is to build relationships and offer encouragement to the church in China," said Anita Snell, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions associate coordinator for Asia, according to the Associated Baptist Press. "They also have encouragement to offer us as the church in the U.S.A. We are Christian brothers and sisters, and we need each other."
The China Bible exhibit – stopping successively in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York –
as a joint effort between official China Christian organizations and U.S. groups including the American Bible Society and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship amongst others.
The exhibit will be sponsored and funded by the Chinese government’s National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China and the China Christian Council (CCC/TSPM)
Decisions to bring the exhibit to American resulted from a meeting between (CCC) officials from and American representatives including evangelist Billy Graham, megachurch pastor and author Rick Warren, and former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter.
The tour titled "A Lamp to My Feet, a Light to My Path" drew more than 20,000 visitors worldwide in its last exhibition in Hong Kong, 2004. In light of the upcoming event, American leaders urged Christians to consider the potential impact of the upcoming tour.
"I just hope that American Christians understand how important this [exhibit] is and what a major overture it is for the Chinese Christian community," stated David Sapp, pastor of the Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, which will be hosting the Atlanta event, according to ABP.
Sapp added, "The explosion of Christianity in China in recent years is absolutely amazing. This is the first time, as I understand it, that Chinese Christians have reached outside of China to the international community."
The first China Bible exhibit on U.S. soil will debut at the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles, April 27 thru May 4. The exhibit will move to Atlanta, May 19 to 24, and New York, June 16 thru 15.
The traveling exhibition will feature six galleries introducing visitors to early biblical history in China, Bible publication and distribution after 1980, Bible ministries for national minority churches, the Bible and church life and Christian art works.