A church in Liaoning Province, located in northeast China, recently held its first baptism and communion service since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago.
The service took place at Beishi Church in Shenyang on June 18, which was a Sunday and Father's Day. During the initial service of the day, Rev. Liu Hong presented a sermon called “Blood of the Covenant.” After delivering the message, Rev. Liu presided over a baptism ceremony for six catechumens and led a communion service.
Another Sunday service was held later.
Historical records indicate that prior to the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, there were roughly 200 churches situated throughout Liaoning Province across various districts, including Dongguan, Xiguan, Beiguan, Beishi, Heping District, Tiexi District, Huanggu District, Xinchengzi, and Sujiatun in Shenyang City.
The current head of Beishi Church, Pastor Fan Bo, who belongs to the Post-80s generation, provided additional information about the church. In 1914, the American Christian Church dispatched a Danish representative named B. Petersen to purchase land on Huangsi Road, Heping District, Shenyang City, and establish a church. Concurrently, hospitals, venereal disease prevention centers, and primary schools were erected in the same vicinity. When Shenyang was liberated in 1948, US-based missionaries returned to their homeland. In 1958, numerous denominations in Shenyang congregated and held prayer services together. Following the year 1960, Beishi Church reinstated Sunday gatherings, with Korean believers worshiping in the morning and Han believers in the afternoon and evening. However, in 1966, the Church ceased gathering as the venue was converted by the local people’s commune into a factory.
As the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was conducted in 1978, and a new religious freedom policy was put into effect. All religions in Shenyang City were allowed to resume their spiritual activities, enabling Beishi Church to hold Sunday services for both Han and Korean believers. Eventually, Korean followers relocated to Xita Church in Shenyang.
In 1993, members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church congregated in Beishi Church under the arrangements of Shenyang Municipal CC&TSPM. The new main buildings of Beishi Church, consisting of 1,400 square meters (0.346 acres) of floor space, were finally finished from June 1994 to September 1996.
- Translated by Abigail Wu