Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Churches in Xiamen, China

I have still more photos to show you from my trip to Xiamen, China. In this post I'll show you some of the churches that are on Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿).

These churches were marked on the map as tourist attractions. (The whole island is basically tourist attractions.) And it seems like they have congregations and weekly services- they're not just historical sites.

It's important to me to post this because a lot of Americans have a really bizarre incorrect view of Christianity in China. They think Christianity is illegal or something, and churches all have to hide. No, it's not like that. There are lots of churches- you can go online and find information on the churches near you. And of the Chinese people I've talked to about this, most of them don't really know much about Christianity, but they're like "oh my aunt is Christian" like they see it as a pretty normal thing to be.

I get the impression that the government does put restrictions on Christianity, but they vary from place to place and may or may not be enforced. (Because China is a giant bureaucracy...) Seems like they are particularly concerned about Chinese people being influenced by western culture, so you're more likely to get in trouble if you show up with a group of white missionaries trying to start up some Christian thing for Chinese people. And I know that in some places in China, there is real Christian persecution- churches being shut down and stuff like that- but the average Chinese person isn't aware of that. As I said, I get the impression the average Chinese person is aware that some people are Christian, and doesn't really have strong feelings one way or the other on it.

Anyway. Here are some churches in Xiamen. Right there in the open, with no indication that anyone is trying to "ban" Christianity or anything.

First, some photos of a Catholic church:

A statue of Jesus, in front of the Catholic church.

The base of the statue has this inscription: "Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!" which is apparently a well-known Catholic phrase meaning "Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands."

Also outside the Catholic church was this statue of 2 women. I guess it's Mary and an angel?

Here's the Catholic church. It was ABSOLUTELY CRAWLING with couples getting wedding-dress photos taken. See in China, they do photos in a wedding dress a few months before the wedding, sort of like how we do engagement photos in the US. Because Chinese weddings don't have the cultural concept of "THE dress" (ie, this is THE dress, YOUR dress, the special dress you only wear 1 day out of your whole life). Actually, Chinese brides have a whole bunch of outfits they change into throughout the wedding day. One of them is a white dress. But it's not like it's "THE dress."

And here's a second church, Trinity Church (三一堂 sān yī táng). 三 (sān) means 3 and 一 (yī) means 1. 三一 (sān yī) means "trinity." Get it? (Chinese vocabulary is so easy!)
This sign describes the history of Trinity Church. Building started in 1934 and was completed in 1945. And it's still in use as a church. 

Trinity Church

主是好牧人 (The Lord is the good shepherd.)

Trinity Church. See the 3 characters over the doors there: 三一堂

And here's a third church:

Also I took this picture of a Taoist temple, so I'll include it in this post:

Everything in Xiamen is so beautiful~


Series of posts with photos from my trip to Xiamen:

Taking the Train in China
Xiamen, China
Xiamen, China (part 2)
Churches in Xiamen, China
Food in Xiamen, China


If you want to see more posts like this, consider supporting me on patreon~ When I reach my goal of $20/month, I'll do a series of blog posts about various aspects of life in Shanghai. With lots of photos. ^_^

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