A Glance into Tujia Church in Zhangjiajie

By Josiah Li, March 28, 2018 09:03 AM

The local congregation held a gathering in a precious location.

Shenguang Church in Sunyangping Village, Yuanguping Town, Yongding District, Zhangjiajie, Hunan

Lateral view of Shenguang Church

A church with Tujia characteristics stands on a mountain about a one-hour drive from the downtown area of Zhangjiajie, in the northwestern part of Hunan Province. 

Rev. Tan Enyi, chairman of the Yongding District TSPM of Zhangjiajie, said that Suyangping Church was started in 2015 and completed one year later. Covering an area of one mu (0.16 acres), it cost more than 300,000 yuan with a floor space over 200 square meters (0.049 acres).

Since the locals are mainly minorities like Tujia people, their bias toward Christianity made the facility construction more difficult. In the beginning, the villagers disagreed with the site selections, demanding that the church be built where it was beyond their visual range. Eventually, the site was chosen on a hill a small distance away from their houses. To make the church more acceptable to local residents, it adopted the Tujia architectural style.

The church only holds Sunday services attended by about 30 believers from four nearby incorporated villages. Some have to walk five or ten kilometers to arrive at the church. Christians who are elderly or live away from the church come to the church only on church holidays or special occasions. The clergy from the city's church holds a communion service every one or two months.  

- Translated by Karen Luo


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