Washington, DC (BWA)--Ties between the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the China Christian Council (CCC) were further strengthened during a visit of CCC leaders to the offices of the BWA on October 3.
Both organizations have had a long association with each other. Since the 1980s, representatives of the CCC have attended Baptist World congresses, held by the BWA every five years, including the last congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2010. A BWA team, led by former President David Coffey, was hosted by the CCC on a visit to China in January 2010, the most recent of several visits made by the BWA to China over the past several decades. In May 2006, the leadership of the CCC, led by then president Cao Shenjie, visited the BWA offices.
The Chinese are in the United States for a 50-day tour as part of the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China. The tour involves travels to Washington, DC, Chicago in Illinois, Dallas in Texas, and Charlotte in North Carolina.
BWA President John Upton and General Secretary Neville Callam attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition in Washington, DC, on September 28.
The first Chinese Bible Ministry Exhibition was hosted by the BWA in 2004 during the Baptist Youth World Conference in Hong Kong. Other exhibitions were held in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York in the US in 2006 and in Germany in 2007.
"This group of [Chinese leaders] represents the younger generation of China," CCC President Gao Feng told the BWA staff in introducing members of the Chinese delegation. "Our predecessors maintained a good and productive relationship with your organization in the past. We hope that this relationship can be furthered even more."
The Bible exhibition, Gao said, "serves as an entry point and helps to strengthen existing relationships.... This also allows for constructive dialogue about different forms of ministry and ways to develop theological education. All of these ideas can be taken back to help the Church in China."
Raimundo Barreto, speaking on the behalf of Callam, who is on a trip to Chile, praised the Chinese Bible Ministry Exhibition. "Hearing what Chinese Christians are doing with the Bible is very encouraging to the rest of us," he said.
Other members of the 13-member Chinese delegation included Kan Baoping, CCC general secretary, and Ou Enlin, deputy director of the Overseas Relations Department of CCC and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China.
The CCC was founded in 1980 as an umbrella organization for all Protestant churches in China, including those with historical Baptist roots. It is involved in a number of ministerial activities, including Bible and Christian literature publishing through Amity Printing Press, reported to be the largest Bible publisher in the world; education, social services, health and rural development through the Amity Foundation; and ministerial and theological training through 18 theological seminaries and Bible Schools.