4 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/25/2005
CHINA
Pastor Allen Yuan of the unofficial Protestant Church laid to rest
He spent 22 years in prison and forced labour camps for refusing to join the official Protestant Church. On his death bed, he called on believers to pray for China's leaders.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Rev Allen Yuan Xiangchen, one of the pillars of the mainland's unofficial Protestant church movement, was laid to rest in the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery. Some 2,500 people attended the funeral service, mostly from house churches. Plain-clothed policemen prevented another thousand from participating.

Allen Yuan died in a Beijing hospital on August 16, surrounded by his wife and six children. He was 91. He was highly respected by the members of the unofficial Protestant Church movement for his steadfast opposition to the official Church.

Once, invited to the White House, he refused a breakfast prayer meeting because he did not want to worship with a member of the official Protestant Church.

The Chinese government allows religious activities only within official and registered patriotic associations, which function as virtual tools of control for the Chinese Communist Party over religious life in the various communities.

Yuan began his mission right after Japan's surrender in 1945, helped by a Norwegian clergyman. He opened a prayer room in Beijing to preach the Gospel. Every year saw him baptise 20 to 30 people.

In 1950, a year after the Communist takeover, the government set up the Three Self Patriotic Movement to develop China-centred national churches under party control. Yuan and other pastors refused to join.

He was arrested in 1958 and sentenced to life in prison for "for counter-revolutionary crimes".

In a testimonial written years later (and published by Voice of Martyrs), he said: "During those years in prison my wife suffered untold hardships in bringing up the children. I was sent to near the Russian border doing farm work, growing rice. Wang Ming Dao [a fellow pastor also sentenced to the camp] and I thought we would die martyrs there. . . ."

"In the labour camp it was very cold," he wrote, "food was bad, and the work was hard, but in 22 years I never once got sick. I was thin and wore glasses, but I came back alive; many did not. I also had no Bible for the 22 years and there were no other Protestant Christians there. I met only four Catholic priests. They were in the same situation I was in; they refused to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association."

Yuan was released in 1979 and went back to do God's work. His friends said he never saw his mission as being "underground"; he never concealed what he did.

"He was never fearful as the leader of the house church in Beijing. He was never hiding anything he was doing," said Australian missionary John Short who knew Yuan.

Before his death, Allen Yuan asked his friends to pray "for the lost millions of China, for the newcomers and new believers, for the leaders our country".

According to official figures, Protestants in the official Church (the Three Self Patriotic Movement) number some ten million. In the unofficial Protestant house churches, the number of faithful is estimated at over 50 million.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/27/2003 China
Christmas prayer prohibited by police
07/06/2005 CHINA
Underground Protestant clergyman on trial
06/15/2004 china
An ancient church becomes home to two Protestant communities.
06/13/2005 china
Police detain 100 Protestant leaders in raid against house churches in Jilin province
06/15/2004 china
More than 100 independent Protestant church members arrested

Editor's choices
CHINA
Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
by Joseph YuanAfter 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.
CHINA
Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions
by Joseph YuanThis is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.