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Chinese Christian Leaders Make History with Attendance at Church Leaders’ Forum

( [email protected] ) Aug 21, 2013 10:03 AM EDT
Christian leaders from house church networks in mainland China overcame enormous hurdles to attend the recent Asian Church Leaders Forum in Seoul, according to lausanne.com.
The participation of the Chinese leaders in the 300-strong ACLF marked the first time since 1949 that such a group of Chinese Christian leaders had taken part in a multi-national gathering.
James Hudson Taylor IV, great-great-grandson of the British missionary pioneer to inland China, and Hwa Yung. Lausanne.com

Christian leaders from house church networks in mainland China overcame enormous hurdles to attend the recent Asian Church Leaders Forum in Seoul, according to lausanne.com.

The participation of the Chinese leaders in the 300-strong ACLF marked the first time since 1949 that such a group of Chinese Christian leaders had taken part in a multi-national gathering.

“One of the significant outcomes from the ACLF was to see Chinese church leaders committing themselves to partnering with the global church towards world evangelization,” said David Ro, Lausanne International Deputy Director for East Asia. “Let us look forward with great anticipation at the fruit God will bring from this partnership.”

The Chinese church was barely represented at The Third Lausanne Congress in Cape Town in October 2010 as Chinese participants were unable to leave China. In 2011 plans were laid quietly for a special event for these Chinese church leaders, to be held elsewhere in East Asia. More than 100 unregistered church leaders from mainland China arrived safely in Seoul, representing millions of Chinese believers, according to lausanne.com.

The participation of the Chinese leaders in the 300-strong ACLF marked the first time since 1949 that such a group of Chinese Christian leaders had taken part in a multi-national gathering.

Professor Liu Peng from the Chinese Academy of Social Science spoke of Christianity’s potential to win the heart of China. There is a need for China to update its outdated religious policies “to adapt to a new modern era” he said, concluding “Christianity is best suited to resolve China’s current moral crisis,” according to lausanne.com.

Beijing Pastor Daniel Li urged that the Chinese Church work and pray to see 20,000 missionaries sent out from China by 2030.

“Over the last 200 years, since the days of the earliest British pioneer Robert Morrison, some 20,000 missionaries have served in China,” he said, according to lausanne.com.

There was, he said, “a gospel debt to pay off.”

The Cape Town Commitment, issuing from The Third Lausanne Congress, has circulated widely in China. It expresses what the Congress discerned the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church. On behalf of all those present at the Congress, Lausanne leaders have urged local and national churches to discern their place in its outworking, according to lausanne.com.

The First International Congress on World Evangelization held in July 1974, when some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to lausanne.com. It’s sometimes called the “Lausanne Congress,” according to Wikipedia.

Since 1974, dozens of Lausanne-related conferences have been convened. Global gatherings include the Consultation on World Evangelization (Pattaya 1980), the Conference of Young Leaders (Singapore 1987), the Forum for World Evangelization (2004 Forum) and the Younger Leaders’ Gathering (Malaysia 2006).

Lausanne has inspired many regional networks and issue-based conferences such as the Asia Lausanne Committee on Evangelism (ALCOE), Chinese Co-ordination Centre for World Evangelization (CCCOWE), a series of Nigerian congresses on world evangelization and several international consultations on Jewish evangelism, according to lausanne.com.