Methodist Church

Exhibition showcases growth of Christianity in China

The travelling exhibition, “Thy Word is Truth”, displays rare Bibles and other religious artifacts of the Protestant Chinese Christian Church.

CHICAGO – A travelling exhibition that highlights rare Chinese Bibles, artwork and displays is offering US visitors a glimpse into the struggles and growth of Christianity in China over several centuries.

The exhibition, “ Thy Word Is Truth,” is sponsored by the China Christian Council (CCC) and the ree-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (TSPM).

“We want to share those testimonies and blessings with our American sisters and brothers who may not know about the situation of the churches in China,” said the Rev Gao Feng, the CCC President. “ e exhibition will promote mutual understanding and friendship between the people of our two countries.”

Of special interest to many Chicago visitors was the exhibition’s testimony to the Christian faith in China. First United Methodist Church in Chicago and Willow Creek Community Church hosted the exhibition.

The Rev Oscar Carrasco, Elgin District superintendent in the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference, said: “ e exhibition speaks about the power of God’s Word, which has endured in China and continues to be alive and touching hearts.”

Mr David Olsen, a member of Friendship United Methodist Church, Bolingbrook, Ill, has visited China. He said the Bible exhibition fascinated him.

“I think it’s really amazing to see that the Bible is everywhere in the world and has been translated in so many different times and languages,” he said. “I saw all the development in China when I was there, but we don’t often think of the religious aspect and the spread of the Protestant church. It makes us pause and think.”

Ms Amania Drane, also of Friendship Church, had a similar experience walking through the exhibition.

“In spite of the vast differences in our histories, our cultures and experiences, we can come together and connect from the standpoint of what Jesus Christ means to us – that’s been really rich,” she said.

While on that trip, he talked with the CCC, and in May 2010, a delegation from the council visited Chicago and chose First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple as an exhibition host site. Next February, Bishop Jung will lead a Council of Bishops delegation to China to explore formalising a sister relationship with the CCC.

The exhibition opened at the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Baltimore on Sept 28 last year. Chicago was the second stop on the tour. e exhibition then moved to the Northwest Bible Church, Dallas, and finally the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Library in Charlotte, North Carolina last November. – United Methodist News Service.


Story and pictures by Anne Marie Gerhardt

Bishop Jung Hee-Soo (right) and the Rev Gao Feng viewing an exhibit.

Anne Marie Gerhardt is the Communications Director of the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference.