House Church Counsels Married Couples in China

( [email protected] ) Sep 11, 2007 01:49 PM EDT

An international ministry reported success with its “Couple Camps” programs, a cooperative effort with local house churches aimed at curbing China’s growing divore rate.

A local pastor associated with Open Doors said that at least 60 couples were helped his area of operation in central China.

“These couples became interested in the course after they had seen the transformation of marriages in our church,” he said this past week in the report.

“Many of them previously thought that the church only talked about heaven, hell and earth, but when they saw how loving the couples in our church had become, they too wanted to learn the ‘secret’ to a happy marriage.”

The report comes amidst a growing number of divorces in China.

1.613 million couples of 8.341 million registered couples were divorced in 2004, according to state-owned China Daily.

In 2005, 1.2 million couples had successfully filed for divorce.

Last year, the civil affairs bureau in Shanghai handled no less than 30,745 divorces – up 12 per cent since 2004.

Government-sponsored researches have noted that it is not much easier for couples to divorce.

It only takes 10 yuan (US$1.20) and less than 20 minutes to process a divorce at most local civial affairs department.

According to Open Doors, local house churches can offer support and couseling for couples with failing marriages.

“They too wanted to learn the ‘secret’ to a happy marriage,” said a pastor in the Open Doors report. “ I told them there was no secret, just teachings from the Bible. They were amazed.”