Concerts and e-cards: the mission to explain the birth of Jesus in China
Beijing (AsiaNews) – “Friends! Christmas is coming! What is Christmas? What's special about Dec. 25? Christmas stockings? Discount season? Surprise? Snow? Gifts? The real meaning of Christmas is the birthday party of Jesus."
Hundreds of Chinese Christians received Christmas e-invitations that started with the above, calling on them to take part in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events and services.
With the rise of social media this year, e-invitation cards have become popular as a way to get people to understand the meaning of the holiday. A Chinese Protestant newspaper, the Christian Times explored the trend.
With the rise of social media, e-invitation cards have become popular, it found. Currently there are at least ten free software programmes to make mobile invitation apps. Consumers can also make cool invitations using Microsoft PowerPoint.
Starting in early December, congregations in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Hangzhou sent out Christmas e-invitations with titles like ‘The Christmas Worship Invitation from XX Church,’ ‘The Christmas Concert on X/X’, or ‘You Have an Unread Invitation’.
Clicking on them opens a PPT slide with hymns playing, beautiful pictures and warm words about Christ’s birth.
A Christian woman said that she really likes e-invitations because they are “environmentally friendly, fashionable, and practical.” Thus, Churches do not have “to print gospel tracts or invitation cards, which cost money”. What is more, “there are many templates to choose from which carry more information than a single tract can.”
One of the most important traditions for Chinese churches at Christmas is “to attract seekers who want to know more about Jesus.” This includes preparing various performances and encouraging churchgoers to invite family, friends, and others to attend the celebrations.
With the rising use of social media in China, e-invitations have become a new tool to spread the Gospel.