I have enjoyed my worship experience at Haidian so much, I now think of it as my church away from home. (I'm not done yet with my travels to China.) Here's a picture of me and my new acquaintance and Christian brother Chuck who went with me last Sunday. (The English language service is now at 11 am in the basement. Enter from the rear of the building at ground level.) Haidian just moved in a wonderful new building which was dedicated on June 3, 2007.
One of the things which is so exciting to me is to see so many college age worshipers. Haidian has the lucky location to be a next door neighbor to two of the most prestigious universities in all of China, Beijing University which I've heard compared to Harvard in the US and Tsinghua University which I've heard called their "MIT." Note the young and standing-room-only crowd at the English language service below.
As you can see, they didn't start an English language service to reach out to Westerners like me, they started an English language service to reach out to the college students. If you are a bright, ambitious college student in China you want to go to graduate school in an English speaking country. All the top jobs and careers in the new China require regular contact with Westerners and good English language skills are a plus. The result, probably 250-300 Chinese college students worship in English in Beijing each Sunday morning.
See also the China Daily article Modern church, more religious freedom for more information and quotes from Pastor Wu Weiqing saying that over 70% of those attending the church are young people.
Copyright © 2007 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved