The church in Yaodu District, Linfen City, Shanxi Province was renovated before reopening. The exquisite picture frames made of plexiglass are suspended in sequence on both sides of the corridor and give a breath of fresh air.
The portrait on the south side has strong Chinese characteristics. The ink paintings are blue and green, with freehand-drawn landscapes, mountains, and water, pavilions, and towers. In the paintings that are of various Biblical themes, there are a group of people wearing traditional Chinese clothes: The Birth of Jesus, Simeon and Anna praising the Savior, The Sermon at The Well, The Sermon On The Mount, The Little Children and Jesus, Gethsemane, The Crucifixion of Jesus, etc. Jesus’s life is depicted in the ancient Chinese style.
On the north side are some classic Western paintings which described historical events in the Bible by Western oil painting techniques: The Adoration of The Shepherds Central Panel of The Altar of The Sassetti Chapel, Adoration of The Magi, Jesus among the Doctors, the Annunciation and Christ with the Woman of Samaria, Transfiguration, The Wedding at Cana, etc. These paintings are copies of famous paintings in the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Florence Art Museum in Italy, and the Vatican Gallery.
A co-worker, Chen Li, said the original intention behind hanging these paintings was to demonstrate the profound cultural heritage of Christian diversity.
During the pandemic this year, the Yaodu Christian Council raised funds to renovate and completely change the image of the church. To make full use of the existing facilities, they decided to hang fine Chinese and Western paintings since they are treasures of Christian culture and art. These paintings have helped to spread Christian culture, promote truth, goodness and the beauty of Christ.
Pastor Huang Hailin, who returned from further study in Taiwan, instructed co-workers on the installation of the works of art. In addition to hanging Chinese and Western Bible stories on both sides of the corridor, there were more than thirty pictures hung on both sides of the third floor. On one side were famous foreign Christian figures and on the other side famous Chinese Christian figures (including local celebrities), supplemented by character introductions.
In the past two years, biblical works were hung inside and outside of the church. These had been generally welcomed by the believers.
(The author is a co-worker of the church in Linfen, Shanxi.)
- Translated by Elaina Wu