Expert of China's Christian history, Rev. Yao Mingquan, Dies at 87

By Yi Yang, January 05, 2017 02:01 AM

Rev. Yao Mingquan (WeChat)

Rev. Yao Mingquan, the former Vice-Chairperson of the Shanghai TSPM, died at the age of 87 in Shanghai Jan 1, 2017. His memorial service will be held in Shanghai Young John Allen Memorial Church on Jan. 8.

An article published on "Tianfeng" (the magazine of the Protestant Churches in China) tells that Yao was born in a rich family in 1930 and entered Nanjing Theological Seminary in 1948 along with another three, who were together called "four tigers of the church in Suzhou". He graduated in 1952.

In September 1952 when ten other theological seminaries in East China was united to form the current Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, Yao was invited by President K. H. Ting to participate in the amalgamation. Four years later, he was ordained as pastor. During the Cultural Revolution, he was persecuted and transferred to labor in a factory. After the Cultural Revolution, Yao was assigned to work in Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and to serve in Young John Allen Memorial Church until 1982.

A decade later, he wrote the part of "the history of Christianity in Shanghai" for the the national key project during the period of the "Seventh Five-Year Plan." Two years later, the part was published as a book. In 2000 the expert and Luo Weihong compiled the book The Brief History of Chinese Christianity. One year later, Rev. Yao was a member of "The History of Religions in Shanghai" Compilation Committee, responsible for editing the Christianity part.

In 2010, he took a part in compiling The Dictionary of Christianity under the general editorship of K. H. Ting and Aloysius Jin Luxian,  a Roman Catholic bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shanghai. The work was awarded the first prize of the 12th Shanghai Book Award. In addition, he co-authored the book "The History of Christianity (Protestantism) in China" with Luo in 2004, a project supported by National Social Science Foundation, published in 2014. 

Translated by: Karen Luo

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