Now is time for healthy church in China, says Langham leader

With rapid social change, greater freedom and more young people than ever embracing Christianity, now is the time to work towards a healthy church in China, says one Christian leader.

In a letter to supporters, the General Secretary of the Langham Foundation Hong Kong, Victor Sun said that the church in China was thriving in the new age of economic and social development.

He added, however, that the growth of Christianity was coupled with a "severe lack" of pastors and Bible teachers in China today.

"There are too few seminaries to keep pace with the staggering growth of believers. This is where John Stott Ministries-Langham Partnership International through the Langham Foundation in Hong Kong can contribute to building a healthy church in China," he said.

There are currently 10 Chinese Langham scholars. The Langham Foundation, meanwhile, is helping to stock the libraries of a number of seminaries and universities in China with evangelical books. Langham, which is a John Stott ministry, will hold its first preaching seminar for China mainland pastors in September.

Sun welcomed the opportunities for Christian fellowship and engagement brought by the Beijing Olympics, saying that local churches were making the most of the Olympics by hosting special cultural and musical shows.

With the Beijing Olympics in full swing, "China is not only showing her best face to the world, she is also sending out a clear message that the country is ready to take her rightful place in the family of nations after re-emerging as [a] global economic giant," he said.

"One day we hope to see that the church in China can become a blessing to the nation and the world," he added.

The Beijing Olympics are now in their third day, after opening in spectacular style on Friday with fireworks and hundreds of impeccably choreographed dancers.