Pingxiang is situated in the western part of Jiangxi Province, with 285 kilometers away from its capital city. Main religions in Ningping include Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Christianity etc. Buddhism and Taoism were first introduced into the land whilst Catholicism and Christianity were brought in by foreign missionaries in recent history.
According to historical archive, Catholicism was first introduced in Pingxiang in 1889. It was first introduced by Priest Bo Duoneng in Nanchang region and believer Liu Shanzhai in Luxi region as they kicked off their mission work. They managed to disciple more than 30 believers at the early stage. Until year 1949, six churches and 347 believers were in the region as a result of their work.
Catholicism in Pingxiang was pro-active in many ministry work at that time. For instance, Priest Chen Jiren in Pingxiang organized Bible Study Programme to invite children of fellow believers and orphans to study the word of God. The programme had 1-year duration and accommodated more than 20 students for each semester. Food and accommodation were all covered by the programme. In 1925, Liu Zhiguang from a Catholic family established a hospital to provide free treatment to patients. Moreover, he established an old folks' home, winning much respect and positive response from the public.
There are 2 Christian denominations in Ningxiang, which are Saint Catholic Church and Local Christian Church. Saint Catholic Church in Ningjiang landed in 1898, which also established churches in Ningcheng, An'Yuan etc. As the coal mining industry started to boom up, a mass crowd had flown into the region, including an increasing number of believers.
The Local Christian Church in Ningjiang was established in 1904, as brought in by Pastor Luo and Pastor Bo from the Great Britain as well as Chinese pastors such as Pastor Li Zhengze, Li Rongguang, Li Yixian etc. through Yichun to Xuanfeng, Luxi until Pingxiang. Christ Church in An'yuan, Ningxiang is situated near Baota Rd, An'yuan. In 1921, the Local Christian Church established a chapel in Xuexiang Lane. In 2016, the church has stopped relying on foreign guidance but started to become self-sufficient in spreading the gospel. During the Cultural Revolution, all church activities had ceased. After the religion reform, its activities were resumed near Dongmeng Bridge. In the summer of 2002, a new location was chosen for church rebuilding plan. The plan was completed in Dec, 2004 as a dedication to the Lord. Moreover, the Local Christian Church had also been involved in education programme through establishing Peide Girls' School in Ningxiang at the early time of the Republic of China.
According to report by China Christian Association, Christ Church in Ningxiang has been actively involved in various social services since 2008. For instance, its involvement in HIV prevention work enables believers in the city to deepen their knowledge of preventing HIV. Moreover, various impactful exhibitions, organizing of "12.1 HIV Day" and care provision programmes have contributed significantly to the collaborated project with NGOs in combating HIV in the global scale.
Translated by: Maggie Li