The Chinese-Speaking Church
What Is the Opportunity?
China has the largest population of any country in the world (1.4 billion people), and Mandarin Chinese competes with English as the most-spoken language in the world. China’s history goes back thousands of years, and the Chinese-speaking church has been affected by many movements and events over the centuries.
Since the Communist Revolution of 1949, the body of Christ in China has faced great opposition, from the Cultural Revolution of 1966–1979 to the present day. A renewed government clampdown, starting in 2018, has seen church leaders imprisoned, church gatherings disrupted, online Bible sales banned, and an increased monitoring of Christians.1
Nevertheless, the zeal of Chinese believers has not waned during these times, and underground churches have multiplied with evangelistic energy for the spread of the gospel. Some estimate that the number of Protestants in China will surpass that in the United States within a decade, becoming one of the largest Christian populations on earth and a country with great missionary-sending potential.2
Despite this growth, the availability of solid theological resources in China is scarce, and the joy Chinese Christians have in receiving biblical material is great. Ligonier is working to equip Chinese-speaking Christians online and in print, including new dubbed teaching series and study guides, a designated website, and future audio production.
By God’s grace and with your support, the resources Ligonier is providing in Chinese enable pastors to faithfully shepherd their congregations, fathers to lead their homes, and mothers to teach their children. Your donations are a critical part of bringing trustworthy teaching to Chinese-speaking people around the world.
How Is Ligonier Meeting These Needs?
We strive to reach Chinese-speaking pastors, laypeople, and unbelievers from all walks of life through the following outreach efforts:
We are reaching Chinese-speaking people online with the gospel, including Mainland China, where Christians are facing persecution from the Communist Government. Our dedicated website along with our YouTube channel, are providing ready access to trustworthy articles, free ebooks, and video teaching series by Dr. R.C. Sproul. Two versions of the website are available: one in simplified Chinese script and another in traditional Chinese script.
The Ligonier Statement on Christology
Confusion abounds regarding Christology—the doctrine of Christ—across China. As the church continues to grow, it is imperative that believers learn the truths of Scripture as summarized in the great confessions of faith. We produced The Word Made Flesh: The Ligonier Statement on Christology to help Christians know the biblical truth that the church has historically confessed and to regain clarity regarding the person and work of Christ. Our goal is to distribute this statement worldwide, and it has already been translated into numerous languages, including both simplified and traditional Chinese.
Growing interest in Reformed theology has sparked an eagerness for more resources from R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. Our plans include translating, printing, and distributing the following Reformation Trust titles:
- By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me by Sinclair Ferguson
- If There’s a God, Why Are There Atheists?: Why Atheists Believe in Unbelief by R.C. Sproul
- Romans: An Expositional Commentary by R.C. Sproul
- Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life by R.C. Sproul
- Printing Crucial Questions series by R.C. Sproul
Recently Published Books (Simplified Chinese)
- Crucial Questions by R.C. Sproul
- Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul
- Learning to Love the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey
- Three children’s books by R.C. Sproul: The Donkey Who Carried a King, The Priest with Dirty Clothes, and The Prince’s Poison Cup
- Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace by Joel Beeke
Recently Published Books (Traditional Chinese)
- In the spring of 2017, 5,000 copies of The Holiness of God book by R.C. Sproul and 4,000 copies of the companion DVD teaching series were distributed at a pastors’ conference in Hong Kong.
The Reformation Study Bible
Our popular Reformation Study Bible helps to deepen Christians’ study of God’s Word. We are eager to begin translating this trusted resource into Chinese. As with the English edition, the Chinese Reformation Study Bible will have more than 1.1 million words of verse-by-verse commentary and topical explanations, maps and visual aids, trusted contributions from seventy-five distinguished scholars, theological summaries from R.C. Sproul, and nearly two thousand years of creeds, confessions, and catechisms. As R.C. Sproul said, “The light of the Reformation was the light of the Bible.” The same is true today.
What Is Needed?
- Dubbing 100 videos in Mandarin Chinese and translating accompanying study guides — $60,000 USD
- Operating the Ligonier Chinese website, including article translation — $5,700 USD (annually)
- Printing 20,000 copies of books from the Crucial Questions series in China — $12,000 USD
- Publishing The Holiness of God in simplified and traditional Chinese in print, ebook, and audiobook formats — $12,000 USD
Funding needs reflect quoted estimates based on May 2020 foreign exchange rates and current translation fees.
How Do Your Gifts Help?
These are only a few of our many international outreach projects underway. We ask you to prayerfully consider supporting our efforts through your financial gifts and prayers for the Chinese-speaking and global church. Your generosity helps us translate, print, and distribute trustworthy resources, providing countless opportunities to reach people with the truth of God’s Word.
Our policy is to apply gifts given toward a specific program. If we receive more contributions than can be wisely used for a given project, we apply these funds to meet other pressing needs in our outreach efforts. We are committed to stewarding all gifts wisely toward the goal of proclaiming the holiness of God to as many people as possible. Ligonier Ministries is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
1See https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/asia/china-bible-online-christianity-intl/index.html as at April 15, 2020
2See https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10776023/China-on-course-to-become-worlds-most-Christian-nation-within-15-years.html and http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/china_705/history/china.html as at Aug 8, 2018