As the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Church in China is going to be held in four cities across the United States from September to November this year, the World Evangelical Alliance has acknowledged the important significance of this event.
“The Bible Exhibition will be an opportunity to engage with the Chinese church leaders in dialogue, build bridges of understanding through gaining insights, be exposed to new ways of understanding of the Chinese churches, and raise questions,” Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO/ secretary general of the WEA said to the Gospel Herald, welcoming the Bible Exhibition.
This is in fact going to be the second time for the Church in China to hold the Bible Ministry Exhibition in the States. Last time was in 2006, the exhibit took place in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York. Upon the invitation by some American churches and ministries, this time the exhibit intends to cover four cities, including Washington D.C. (Sept. 28-Oct. 2), Chicago (Oct. 12-16), Dallas (Oct. 27-31) and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association office in Charlotte (Nov. 8-10).
The main objectives of the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Church in China this year is to give the audiences an overall understanding of how the Bible was brought into China, translated, published, distributed, used and cherished by the Chinese; demonstrate how Christianity is expressed indigenously through art displays and performances by Chinese Christian artists; and most importantly, serve as an entry point for more dialogue and partnership with American churches.
Seminars and workshops will be held jointly with the American churches in order to foster a space for mutual learning and understanding, where mutual respect can be developed. The Church in China also expresses hope for more dialogue and friendship with both denominational and non-denominational churches, in the areas of theological education, leadership development, social service project, and publication.
Over this past weekend, representatives of China’s registered church body visited the United States. Elder Fu Xianwei from Shanghai is the chair of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), the body that oversees registered Protestant churches in China. Fu said that they are here upon the invitation by BGEA, as he was interviewed by The Christian Post.
The visit to BGEA is for two purposes, according to Fu. The Chinese delegates have gained a better understanding of BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse in order to explore the possibilities of further cooperation. In additional, they seek to obtain support from BGEA’s partner churches to the Bible Ministry Exhibition.
After the BGEA visit, the delegates have met with Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO/ secretary general of the WEA to obtain WEA’s support.
WEA is committed to building a long-term relationship of trust with the Church leaders in China, said Tunnicliffe. In that context, WEA and China’s registered church leaders have discussed some challenging issues facing the China church today. They will also continue to work on the complex issues as their relationship deepens. Tunnicliffe believes that the Bible Exhibition will be “a fruitful gathering.”
In May of last year, the Chinese church leaders visited New York City and called for the support of the overseas Chinese churches for their plan to host the second Bible exhibition through prayers. The meeting was organized by the New York Theological Education Center.