The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way many Christians in China are engaging with the Bible. (Photo credit: United Bible Societies)

Virus outbreak sees Christians in China depending increasingly on God’s word

With the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak – now a global health emergency – on their doorstep, Christians in China are relying even more on their Bibles and reading at home.

Mr Meng has been inspired by reading the

Bible during the coronavirus outbreak.

(Photo credit: United Bible Societies

China Partnership)

During this time of home quarantine for the health and safety of all citizens, the authorities have been banning collective gatherings and imposing extended holidays for schools and companies. 

Travel has also been restricted, with some cities allowing only one or two household members to leave home to buy daily essentials. Sometimes they are only allowed out once in five days.

With churches closed and Christian meetings suspended, many Christians are spending more time at home reading the Bible.

During this time of isolation, I read the Bible without stopping for 10 days and I could not stop reading about God’s forgiveness and love for me.

For example, in a village known as Longchi in Sichuan province*, there’s a church located in the beautiful Ermei Mountains. The church used to hold Bible meetings three times a week for more than 400 believers, but with church meetings suspended, these believers are spending more time than ever before doing their own Bible reading.

‘I’m old and it would not be long before I make my final journey but I haven’t even read much of the Bible!’ confessed one 80-year-old man whose family name is Meng. ‘During this time of isolation, I read the Bible without stopping for 10 days and I could not stop reading about God’s forgiveness and love for me. Now I want to spend the rest of my life reading the Bible!’

'Starting from the book of Genesis, these believers, young and old, read at least 10 chapters a day. Some can read 50 to 80 chapters a day,' said Sister Meng Jiumei, a nun serving in Longchi Church. 

Believers of all age groups like Mr Wang, 28, (left) and Ms Liu, 50, (right) have become hungry for God’s

word as they face the threat of the coronavirus. (Photo credit: United Bible Societies China Partnership)

One believer shared with Sister Meng: ‘While I was reading the Book of Judges, I broke down in tears as I felt a strong conviction to repent to God of my sins.’

Another said, ‘We are often too busy to spend time with God prior to this crisis. Now we are taking this time to do more self-reflection and praying to God.’

Believers in China are hungry for the word of God, which gives them hope and strength to endure each difficult new day. Let us remember these brothers and sisters in Christ and pray for them daily, and let us support them in whatever practical ways we can.

 

Please visit our China prayer tree for prayer guidance or to post a prayer yourself.

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*Sichuan province has a total of 470 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of whom 120 recovered and one died. (Updated 15 Feb 2020)

A message from China: thank you

A message from China: thank you

Since the summer, supporters like you have generously donated more than £100,000 towards Bible work in China, which will be doubled to an amazing £200,000! Thank you so much; your kindness left us humbled and grateful.

China prayer tree

China prayer tree

Just over 40 years ago, the Bible was a banned book in China. But today, in this largely atheist country, the Bible is a best seller and Christianity in China is growing at a rapid rate. We're translating, printing and distributing Bibles and helping to train Chinese pastors to meet the shortage of equipped leaders.

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