Church Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony of Reconstruction after Quake in Zhaotong, Yunnan
By Yi Yang, March 02, 2016 00:03 AM
On February 27, the Gospel Church of Zhaotong held a groundbreaking ceremony of church building reconstruction after 2014 Ludian earthquake. Over one hundred local believers from counties like Yiliang, Yongshan, Zhaoyang and Guizhou City attended it.
Hit by 2012 Yunnan earthquakes and 2014 Ludian earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5, the main building of Gospel Church, over 20 kilometers away from Zhaotong, became dangerous where was not permitted to hold services by the local authority, according to Mr. Zhang of the church. In 2015 the church building was pulled down while the church lacked enough fund to build a new building.
Due to its reconstruction project included into the national restoration programs, the church got 1.20 million from the government. It was only enough to begin the reconstruction.
Zhang says, "But the budget for building a church alone is more than 5 million while we have only 1.6 or 1.7 million! The current situation is that the church is building while receiving donations, also planning to borrow money from members which will be returned to them according to interest on deposit in bank."
Back to history, Zhaotong had been once the Christian mission station. In 1883 England sent the first missionary to Yunnan and the missionary explored the mission station in Zhaotong but left here soon.
In 1887, Samuel Pollard, a British Methodist missionary, came here and established the headquarter of the southeastern parish of Methodist mission. As the rising number of foreign missionaries, believers increased in surrounding provinces like Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou. At that time Zhaotong became the gospel center in the northeastern area of Yunnan.
Until 1930s, more than 40 British missionaries and doctors had been to Zhaotong. In 1951, all the foreigners were forced to return to their motherland so the southeastern parish disappeared naturally. After implementing the policy of the freedom of religions, the government granted it 90,000 yuan to restore the church. In 1988 Gospel Church restarted services.
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