Though churches in China are in lockdown due to recent COVID-19 spikes, they celebrated Passion Week virtually.
Below is a brief description of more than a dozen churches' online worship services during the most important festival in the Church Year.
Dushu Lake Church in Suzhou, Jiangsu, held morning prayer meeting every day during this week.
Besides broadcasting a live Palm Sunday service and Easter Sunday service, four pastors in Xiangcheng Church, Suzhou, hosted services from Monday to Saturday, recording the Good Friday evening prayer meeting which was posted on the WeChat account together with other pastoral workers and church council members.
Posting the scriptures and devotional articles on its official WeChat account, Mujia Garden Church in Suzhou held a meditation activity on sayings of Jesus on the cross, Easter Sunday morning service and Easter Sunday service, according to Suzhou CC&TSPM.
Jinsha New Area Church in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang, edited the "Suffering Week Special Issues", including Bible verses, festival introductions, important events, and meditation, which were updated every day. They also published a Bible reading plan, and Bible trivia quizzes which could help believers reinforce what they had read.
Senior Pastor Liu Xueguang of the Shuishiying Church in Dalian, Liaoning, hosted prayer meetings, services, and Bible reading activities which were not interrupted all year round, in which more than 1,000 believers participated every day. He also delivered a sermon during the Easter Sunday service.
In Yuguang Street Church, Dalian, Rev. Liu Haihua led the bible study fellowship to learn the scriptures about the resurrection of the Lord every day, forwarding articles such as Great Power Revealed by the Resurrection of Jesus from the magazine Tianfeng of CCC&TSPM. On Good Friday, church members engaged in fasting, prayer, meditation, and repentance.
Elder Zhou Fenglou of the Wenhua Road Church in Pulandian District, Dalian, aged 73, studied the Bible every day during Holy Week, publishing more than ten articles in the "Peace" series to encourage believers to stick to their beliefs without worries and stay at home amid the epidemic. He quoted Martin Luther’s sayings for the church members: “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in the books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
Li Qingzhen, an 86-year-old pastor in Qinghe County, Uygur Autonomous Region, Xinjiang, released sermons, spiritual articles, and hymns. On Holy Sabbath, she announced a piece of good news that the Qinghe County Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau officially confirmed her as the leader of the church in the county, which opened a way for the resumption of the church that had been closed for many years.
Tumen Church in Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province, hosted online services during the eight days of Passion Week, attracting believers to participate from Ningbo, Shandong, and Liaoning which are thousands of miles away.
Beihai Church in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region broadcast live four Easter Sunday services in Mandarin and Cantonese. Senior Pastor Zhang Yezhong, president of the Beihai CC&TSPM, shared a set of Chinese prints with believers, introducing the last journey of Jesus whose resurrection brought hope and peace.
Hepu County Church in Beihai City published Bible verses, metaphor stories, daily spiritual growth articles, hymns, prayers, and video files in the WeChat group, forwarding four virtual Easter Sunday services of Beihai Church, with believers making offerings for Easter Sunday.
In addition, Rev. Wang Ruiguang gave online sermons about Easter Sunday at Heilongjiang Theological Seminary, attended by more than 1,280 people.
Zhoujia Church in Dashiqiao City, Liaoning, Laohutun Church in Anshan, Liaoning, True God Church in the Fenghua District, Ningbo, Zhejiang, and Shiqiao Church in Cixi, Zhejiang, also carried out a variety of activities to mark Passion Week, such as sermons, praise meeting and worship on the Internet.
(The comprehensive news is originally published by the Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Abigail Wu