Chinese Famous Writer Ran Yunfei Converts to Christianity

Ran Yunfei
Ran Yunfei
By Ruth WangNovember 10th, 2015

Famous writer Ran Yunfei has converted to Christianity recently. Being a famous public intellectual, the topic became a point of discussion to many Christians and non-Christians. Many Christians thanked God for His grace, while non-Christians were shocked.

"Maggie's Gift", a wechat public platform shared his converting journey in the passage "Converting to Christianity is Experiencing a Miracle." It says giving their lives to Christ is like experiencing a miracle for those who are fascinated by the Christian spirit but still think in a rational, scientific way.

Ran Yunfei, who was born in Youyang County, Chongqing in 1965, is a resident of Chengdu, Sichuan Province. He is a famous Chinese scholar, writer and essayist. He was chosen as one of "2008 One Hundred Public Intellectuals." He has received many prizes and his work has been chosen to be placed into the high school Chinese reading textbook. He is called the "Folk Educator" by the media. He works for the magazine Sichuan Literature and some of his works include: Rilke, Jorge Luis Borges and Wu Yu and His Time of the Republic of China.

Ran's Conversion Story: gave life to Christ after 30 years' contact with Christianity, like a miracle

"It's too hard for Chinese intellectuals to believe in God. The things intellectuals do most carefully and seriously is to invent various 'thoughts', 'concepts' and '-ism's, which block themselves from walking into God. Many scholars believe they know the secrets of the heaven and the earth, but escape from Christianity. When they hear Jesus' name, they snap back. However, Ran has a very open mind. Although he was not a Christian, he opened his family to hold Bible classes since June 8, 2013. In his home, he held the 'Nicodemus Bible Class' twice a month. The Bible says Nicodemus was an official and intellectual, who found it inconvenient to visit Jesus in the daytime but visited him at night.

The seekers who went to his home are men like Nicodemus, who have knowledge and long for truth, unwilling to go to church. He seemed like he had "no response" to the Christian belief. However, on Oct. 31 this year, Ran wrote a short sentence, "Today, I decide to follow Jesus." in his friend’s circle on WeChat.

In fact, Ran was interested in the Christian belief even ten years ago, but held a contradictory mind about it. He expressed his contradiction in his blog article "Why Do I Not Dare to Be a Christian in China." He shared the four points of action a Christian can make to impact Chinese ethnics shared to him by his friend when he attended the conference, "Christianity and Chinese Ethnics.":

1.To be a man with consciousness
2.To be a model of honesty
3.To always be grateful
4.To engage in social practice and be a prominent figure in your field

Although it is a good endeavor to do this it is so hard to achieve them in such real environment in Ran's eyes. "It's better to be a worldly sinner to spend the rest of my life than a Christian still telling lies. But I'm unwilling to stop here, which confuses me. I want to say, in China, I do dare not to be a Christian," he wrote in his blog.

Three months before his blog article, which was Easter Sunday that year, his wife had been baptized. He spoke in her baptism ceremony: "I don't have a belief but I support her belief I sincerely bless her for her rebirth. Although I'm not a Christian, I can provide her the scientific logic to carry on her worldly burden so that she can serve Jesus with all her heart."

He shared that his first touch with Christianity was “dated back to 20 years ago. I have no talents and have very slow progress. I don't want to come closer to God, I feel really ashamed. Until now I have no will to believe, I don't know why. But I'm more interested in Christianity than Buddhism, Islam or Taoism. Wherever I go, I'd see anything related to Christianity. In the past 20 years, I have made lots of efforts to explore Christianity but there has never been substantial progress, which seems odd to me. Maybe in my inner heart, I learned about Christianity not to be part of the belief but to learn more about its connection with western civilization. With the aim of understanding and studying Christianity seeming a block to me, I haven't had rebirth until now.

"But ten years later, he decided to follow Jesus, which was much affected by his own daughter's conversion. He wrote a letter to his daughter  "Last Father's Day I reminded you to have faith. At the end of last year, you converted to Christianity. I congratulate you. Therefore I won't worry you of your values and moral sense. The love of the rock and living foundation surpasses my limited love to you. But I have no faith, which makes me feel your invisible pressure. As a father, I'm not even a motivated seeker, then why couldn't I follow your faith steps?

"He finally gave his life to Christ. "Maggie's Gift" says, "O Lord, You choose presidents and also beggars. You choose judges and policemen, also thieves and robbers. You choose farmers and also scholars. Who can fathom Your heart?You have compassion on whom You will have compassion and You have mercy on whom You will have mercy. Now You choose this wild man, this weird intellectual. How wonderful You are! Thank You for your mercy and compassion on him and sinners will be blessed though You." 

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