THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA and TAIWAN

Church history in China and Taiwan has become a lesson in evangelism and even a historical study of the experiences that occurred in China and Taiwan. The church in China experiences many challenges from every different year, experiencing the reality of being protected by the government but also experiencing persecution in church development and even expulsion and death. Missionaries certainly enjoy this because God’s grace must be preached to the people of China to receive salvation from God through the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.

 

DEVELOPMENT TO CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA

In the history of the Church in China and Taiwan also tells about strategies in evangelism so that it will be seen that many churches were built because the gospel has been widely spread in China and especially in Taiwan. They sincerely want to spread the gospel to remote villages, despite experiencing persecution by the communists, until worship is brought to the ground, then emphasize that the Church is built because of the work of God through missionaries who are ready to die for the souls in China and also Taiwan.

In this development, the development of Christianity in China and Taiwan since the sixteenth century has had its own dynamics. Development in China has its own characteristics. Likewise, the development in Taiwan. How is the development of Christianity in each of these regions, both in China and in Taiwan? What affects Christianity in each region, the occurrence of these developments is due to the existence of communism, cultural revolution, colonialism, politics, China and Taiwan.

 

Basically, the development of religion in China is quite varied, in this case Christianity in China has developed a lot in several coastal areas due to the existence of several ports which are the meeting point between China and the outside world (West and other Asia) through trade routes. Through the trade routes missionaries came from various countries. Areas such as the ports of Canton (Guangzhou), Amoy (Xiamen), Foochow (Fuzhou), Ningpo, and Shanghai were centers of missionary activity. Until recently the majority of Christians had grown up in the province close to the coast between Shanghai and Guangzhou. (Melton 2005, 136-137)

 

DEVELOPMENT TO CHRISTIANITY IN TAIWAN

In the 15th century the mountainous people of Taiwan called Tayouan specifically for the mountainous area they lived in. However, at the end of the Ming Dynasty, the name Tayouan (Taaiwoan) was used for the entire island. Then, in the mid-16th century the Portuguese arrived at this island. The Portuguese called it Formosa which means beautiful island.

Missionary activities entered Taiwan around the 17th century. There were two waves of evangelistic activities, the first being the Dutch Reformed people (1624-62) and the Spanish Dominicans (1626-42). 1859-1895) was carried out by the British. (CCA 1979, 93-95) The evangelistic work stagnated until the 19th century, only after an agreement was reached between the Chinese and British governments, the evangelistic activity could resume.

In 1949, the mainland Chinese entered Taiwan. At the same time, Jiang Kai-shek entered the area. He was the leader of the nationalist faction named Kuo Min Tang, who at that time was at war with the communists under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Jiang Kai-shek and his Christian family obliged Ni Dosheng’s devotional book, entitled Rivers in the Desert, In addition, Ms. Jiang was also involved in holding Bible study meetings for civil servants, which is one of the ways Christianity has flourished in Taiwan (Ruck 1995, 293).

The growing Christianity in Taiwan is different from the Christianity in mainland China. Christianity entered Taiwan not at the same time as colonialism. Therefore, theology in Taiwan does not recognize any form of rejection or anti-Westernism, as happened in China. The emergence of the New Voice of Clergy Movement and the policies of the Second Vatican Council in the development of Roman Catholic contextual theology are thought to give its own color to Christianity in Taiwan. Meanwhile, the presence of a theological study institute in Tainan which was pioneered by the Presbyterian Church is thought to have been a strong influence of the Protestants in Taiwan in the period 1949-1962. Efforts to do contextual theology are the basis of the Evangelism activities that Prostestant Seminary does.