National Christian Council of Korea NCCK
Vision of God’s Realm in North-east Asia
The Education Dept. made its trip to China, Jan. 28 – Feb. 2, taking 11 students and 3 staff members from member theological colleges. They visited Beijing and Xi’an, one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. While there they participated in seminars on the history of Chinese society and saw many historical and heritage sites of significance to Chinese cultural development. As well, they heard about Chinese Christianity, and saw sites important to the progress of Christianity in China, from early days until the present. Prominent in their memories is the memorial to Matteo Ricci, Jesuit missionary. He came to China in the 1580’s and in 1601, Ricci was invited by the Emperor to become an adviser to the Imperial court; he was the first Westerner to be invited into the Forbidden City. This honour was in recognition of Ricci's scientific abilities, chiefly his predictions of solar eclipses, which were significant events in the Chinese world. Ricci’s observatory is still open to visitors. They discovered missionaries are largely regarded with respect by the Chinese for their contributions to Chinese society.
They visited one of the churches and met the pastor in charge, hearing about the working of the church in the face of many government restrictions on religion. Although there are Christian churches not recognized by the government, this particular church is officially recognized by the state.
In addition, the group visited a Theological Seminary in Beijing, and spent time with students and professors there. Although the Korean theological students were not impressed with the physical surroundings of the seminary, they were most impressed with the program the students followed, the efforts they put into their study, their spiritual practices, and the fellowship they enjoyed through the power of the Gospel. In China, Christianity is growing rapidly. Although the group did not hear all the reasons why this should be so, seeing the commitment and Spirit of the professors and students gave the some understanding as to the growth of the church.
The Common Ecumenical Class have now traveled to 8 destinations. Seeing Japan, and now China, they came home with a vision as to how North East Asian churches can work together to support each other for the realization of God’s realm on earth. Such visits help to dissipate prejudices and stereotypes that societies hold one against the other.
A Research presentation on Korean Christian History and Culture Centre