How does someone who is a current events commentator, Cultural Research Regeneration Society (CRRS) President, an overseas Chinese Christian look at “China’s Political Climate”?
In the last ten or more years, Dr. Thomas In-sing Leung has traveled to China numerous times; in China, he has written suggestions letters to and conversed with the top government officials, probed into the development of human rights, and participated in disaster relief work, poverty alleviation, and education, etc.
On June 27th, the fellowship of brothers from North Richmond Alliance Church in Vancouver, Canada, invited Dr. Leung to share his observation of the change in China during this past decade at the seminar titled “China’s Political Climate”, which is the second of a three-series seminar on the Breathe of Christian Life.
Leung began by sharing how he used to be very “anti-communist” in the past, where he would participate in protests and rallies, but after believing in the Lord, he was completely changed by God’s love. He realized that non-stop criticisms of the Chinese government cannot help the 1.3 billion souls find rest nor can it save men’s souls.
Only Christ’s Love Can Heal the Wounded Souls
When China’s economy was soaring in the 90s, the people showed their greed because of money, and showed no remorse over such kind of depraved image. Leung acknowledged deeply that to save China, we must first save her culture and her soul.
In the modern history of China, numerous wars and oppressions occurred. “China is a nation that has been deeply wounded. Only Jesus Christ can heal her, because He also went through tremendous sufferings but revealed the power of resurrection. Through Christ’s love, the wounds from the past can become a new strength,” said Leung.
At that time, God challenged Leung to learn to sacrifice himself like Christ, using unconditional love to love this nation, but what about the government?
Inspired by God, Leung willingly gave up a high-paying job to begin the Cultural Research Regeneration Society, hoping that through Christ’s love this people nation can be healed. Without a doubt, after many years of hard-work, he saw China changing one step at a time. Among the changes, the most exciting change is the Chinese government’s loosing of its policies towards Christianity when it saw the unconditional love of Christians.
From Religious Antagonism to Respecting Religious Faith
China has always held a cautious attitude towards religion, for it fears of the cohesive nature of religion in uniting the people together, which can form a force that can topple the government. Such examples can be seen from the collapse of Northern European countries, which was initiated from and called for by the church.
As a result, the government established research institutions at the most prestigious universities throughout China to research Christianity, hoping to be able to fend against it, and at the same time conduct exchanges with foreign churches.
As these research students communicate with foreign seminaries, they had very good impressions toward the Christians and churches, who they’ve met, which helped rebuilt the image of Christianity in China. In recent years, China’s academic has become more open, where one can freely express his or her opinions during lectures in university classes. Furthermore, churches also enjoy more freedom.
“China has changed greatly; even though it seems on the outside that not much has changed, but in actuality the perceptions on the inside has changed tremendously. The government has always been very wary towards religion, because they see religion as the people’s opium. However, after much research was conducted on Christianity and the contacts made with Christians, they’ve discovered that Christians is for bringing harmony to the society rather than causing strife and disorders. Therefore, instead of treating religion with antagonism, they are beginning to ‘make normal’ religion and treating Christian’s work with respect.”
Having Faith that Loosening Towards Religion Will Definitely Happen
Leung believes that the loosening towards religion will definitely happen, and this is “China’s Climate” from his observations. He expressed that the Chinese government will loosen its stance towards the house churches and allow them to register independently, and therefore forming a pluralistic Christianity in China alongside with the Three-self churches; in the future, Christians can publically proclaim the gospel, hold religious activities in public places, and may one day hold evangelistic crusades at Tiananmen Square.
“China’s loosening of its policy on religious freedom is accumulated drop by drop. Even though it is impossible to fulfill everything right now, this is a process and I’m very grateful to God for allowing me to participate in this process throughout the past ten or more years,” said Leung.
In conclusion, Leung stated that as Chinese and Christians the first thing we must do is respect Chinese culture, because only through respect can there be dialogue, and only through the action of love can the gospel be proclaimed.
“The power of western countries is rooted in the democratic ideals of Christianity. As China begins to open up and with its economic prowess, she will be an incredible influence to the world, but the key is to build a nation of morals and spirituality. I hope that we can contribute our greatest efforts,” said Leung.
Reporter Luke Leung translated the article.