Fighting Against COVID-19: Shanghai Christians in Action

Christian volunteers in Fengxian District, Shanghai, assisted medical workers to collect a COVID-19 swab in March, 2022.
Christian volunteers in Fengxian District, Shanghai, assisted medical workers to collect a COVID-19 swab in March, 2022. (photo: Shanghai CC&TSPM)
By Mark Cui April 1st, 2022

In March, facing China's worst outbreak since Wuhan in 2022, one charity foundation and churches in three districts participated in volunteer services with donations.

Since March 8, all Christian venues in Changning District have implemented the "double suspension" measures which refer to suspending both the opening of places of worship and group religious activities. Believers based in this district have engaged in anti-epidemic volunteer services together with community staff, including community safety inspections, publicity and guidance, temperature checks, crowd control, and answering questions. Some Christians also helped foreign residents with understanding the different anti-pandemic policies and also with grocery shopping. On behalf of Huxi Church and Xinjing Church, Rev. Cen Zhongpu, director of the Huning District CC&TSPM, donated up to 40,000 yuan worth of anti-epidemic materials to the Zhou’er Neighborhood Committee and the Beixinjing Street Community, Xinjing Church said.

Following the guidelines of higher authorities, Fengxian District CC&TSPM has implemented the "double suspension" measures in all 24 venues since March 8. Jin Yafang, director of the district CC&TSPM, acting as a model, signed up to assist medical staff in collecting COVID-19 swabs, Shanghai CC&TSPM reported.

Church leaders of the district purchased daily necessities and anti-epidemic materials such as milk, bread, fruits, masks, and protective clothing, for the anti-epidemic personnel in the towns, communities, and village neighborhood committees. As of March 25, the total amount of donations of all kinds reached a total of 35,000 yuan.

In early March, all churches in Jing'an District suspended Sunday worship and weekly gatherings. Keeping up pastoral care during this unusual period, churches reminded believers to read the Bible and pray at home to seek intimacy with God. The District CC&TSPM donated antibacterial hand sanitizers, KN95 masks, milk and other supplies to some street communities and neighborhood committees. Huai'en Church, Xin'en Church, Zhabei Church, and Lingquan Church also made a contribution of anti-pandemic supplies and food to their street communities and neighborhood committees respectively.

During the grid screening process, Rev. Xu Jianan, Pastor Lin Enchao and many other believers signed up as volunteers, when knowing their residential communities started recruitment.

Shanghai Agape Foundation purchased urgently needed medical supplies valued over 20,000 yuan, including medical gloves, protective clothing, and alcohol, for frontline epidemic prevention workers in the community, reported the foundation.

Since March 7, under closed-off management, 31 employees in En’guang Nursing Home have continued to look after 92 elderly people. The foundation contributed 20,000 yuan in gifts to the staff members.

The city detected 358 local confirmed COVID-19 cases, 4,144 local asymptomatic infections, seven imported patients and one imported asymptomatic case on Thursday, the National Health Commission of the PRC reported on April 1.

- Translated by Shuya Wang

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