An unprecedented Bible ministry exhibition of China is coming up in late April, important leaders from the government-sanctioned church in China will be presented at the opening ceremony and will visit Chinese churches in San Francisco.
Sponsored by the China Christian Council and the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement (CCC/TSPM), Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Church in China will be held in three cities- Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City- from April 27 to June 12.
In Los Angeles, the Exhibition is hosted by the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove. An opening ceremony at Crystal Cathedral will kick-off the nationwide Exhibition on April 27. There will also be a special luncheon with Rev. Cao Sheng Jie, President of China Christian Council (CCC), Ye Xiaowen, Director-General of State Administration for Religious Affairs, and other important Chinese leaders on the next day. Both events are by invitation only.
"A Lamp unto My Feet, A Light unto My Path" is the theme of the Exhibition this year, reflecting Chinese Christian’s faith in the Word of God and their desire to share the Word with other Chinese. The Exhibition will show the various stages of the Chinese church’s Bible ministry and their use of the Word to establish the China Church.
The Exhibition is backed by the evangelicals in the U.S. In a statement, the world-class evangelist Dr. Billy Graham said, "I'm thankful for the news of the Exhibition of the Bible that will be brought to the United States. We certainly are delighted that it is going to take place and we will be praying for its success."
Former President Jimmy Carter, who is a devout Baptist and is invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Exhibition in Atlanta, believes that the Exhibition "will be a good learning experience for Americans to see more and more of what is going on in China."
China has always been criticized for its serve restriction on religious freedom. It is designated as one of the "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) by the U.S. Department of State for its strong violation in international human rights standard. The Exhibition this time may show a different image of China to the U.S.
Around 10 days before the first Exhibition in Los Angeles, Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet with President George Bush in Washington D.C. Bush said that he would not hesitate to press on China to allow greater religious and political freedom, especially the issue on Sino-Vatican relationship, during a speech to Freedom House in late March.
Meanwhile, Chinese churches in Bay Area have started promoting the Exhibition to their congregations. After the Exhibition closes in Los Angeles, the delegation of around 30 Chinese Christian leaders will be visiting Chinese churches in San Francisco from May 6 to May 11. On May 7, a musical dance performance will be held at the Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church in the evening. Tickets are to be distributed by San Francisco Chinese Christian Union next week.