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Yuan Zhi-Ming: Drop the Historical Enmities, Care for Japan with Love

( [email protected] ) Mar 16, 2011 06:57 AM EDT

Four days has passed since the 9.0 earthquake struck northern Japan, causing a giant tsunami that engulfed an entire port city of Sendai. Furthermore, four nuclear reactors are now under serious risks of radiation leakage that has caused widespread unrest to major Japanese cities as far as Tokyo. China Soul Association founder and director Rev. Zhiming Yuan urged Chinese Christians to break through the ethnic-cultural divide for the sake of the gospel of Christ, putting down the historical enmities, and show the love of God through caring for the Japanese disaster victims.

“The disaster that happened in Japan is a disaster of mankind. The pains of Japanese are everyone’s pains. The revelation behind the disaster is a revelation for all mankind,” he said.

Ever since the earthquake struck, headlines of major world news are focused on Japan. News photos and reports from the disaster zone have sparked people’s compassion, and many are filled with worries and grief for Japan. But a minority of Chinese overseas and in mainland China has been spurring debates on internet forums discussing whether or not to assist Japan.

Yuan, who was once a student leader of the Beijing Tiananmen Square Incident in 1989 but have since converted to Christianity and is now a pastor, expressed his grief after observing this phenomenon.

“Although the majority will agree (in assisting Japan), I can’t help but be sad in my heart, because the discussion itself causes grief. It is like discussing whether or not the Japanese are human beings like us, which is the equivalent of discussing whether or not we ourselves are human beings like them! Europeans and Americans will not have a discussion about this, nor would the Koreans who were once oppressed by the Japanese. Although the Japanese ancestors have done evil on our heads, it is no excuse to rejoice over their sufferings or just cold-heartedly watch and do nothing?”

The California-based Chinese pastor pointed out the ugliness in this type of thinking.

“Paying back evil with evil, a mindset that sees equal to evil is scarier than evil itself, because an evil person can repent and become a righteous person afterwards, but a mindset that sees equal to evil can only produce an evil person; likewise, the mindset that sees the same to that of a ghost is scarier than a ghost itself, because a ghost cannot become a person, but a mindset that sees the same as a ghost can make a person become a ghost.”

He emphasized that the disasters on any place on earth would be disaster for all human kind.

“Just like a group of ants crawling on the floor. When a gush of wind blows, several skinny and weak ants then disappeared, but the fat and strong ants are neither compassionate nor awaken, but instead are a bit conceited. Then, a gush of water sweeps away the ants on the right, but the ants on the left are neither compassionate nor awaken, but instead think in their hearts: who told them to not walk on the same side as us! Then, a strong wind blows by again and huge gush of water sweeps, then they all disappeared.”

Speaking from the perspective of Christian faith, Yuan firmly believes that the disaster in Japan is a disaster of mankind, the pains of Japanese are everyone’s pains, and the revelations behind these disasters speak to all human race, because everyone is human being living under the same sun, atmosphere, ocean, and nature created by God.

“Although the landscape has separated us into different ethnic groups, the culture has formed our different personalities, history has left behind many enmities, reality is filled with self-interest conflicts, but we are all the same - weak, helpless, imperfect, and sensitive to pain. God has given us the same sunshine, oxygen, ocean and nature, rain water and plant; if we can once again recognize that we are all one family under the same roof, then how happy would God be!” He exhorted.

“Aren’t all the conflicts between that of brothers? No matter how great the damage, discrimination, and ill-will, nothing can change the fact that we are all mankind. Strictly speaking, a person who loses the commonality of a man is no longer a man, but an alien to man, which is just like a cancerous cell inside the cells of a man that rejects its commonality with the other cells.“

Yuan quoted two Bible passages taken from Luke 13:1-5 and Ecclesiastes 7:4 to remind the believers of the proper viewpoints in view of this natural disaster.

[Editor's note: reporter Titus Li contributed to this report.]