From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
NCCCUSA Delegation to China Oct. 8-15
CAROL_FOUKE.email@example.com (CAROL FOUKE)
02 Oct 1998 12:35:30
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Contact: NCC News, 212-870-2252
95NCC10/2/98 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES GENERAL SECRETARY,
PRESIDENT-ELECT ANDREW YOUNG TO VISIT CHINA OCTOBER 8-15
NEW YORK, N.Y., Oct. 2 ---- Ambassador and Mrs.
Andrew Young and the Rev. Dr. Joan B. Campbell will be
among members of a National Council of Churches delegation
visit to China Oct. 8-15 to look at the current status of
church-state relations in China.
The delegation will meet with the NCC's historic
partner, the China Christian Council; with high government
officials, and with such governmental bodies as the
influential foreign policy think tank, the Shanghai
Institute for International Relations.
"The delegation visit represents one way that the
NCC's top leaders are seeking to keep current their
understanding of the nature of church-state relations in
China," said Dr. Campbell, NCC General Secretary. "We have
maintained ties with the churches in China throughout this
century. We want to continue to be influential
interpreters of church-state relations in China."
This will be Dr. Campbell's second visit to China in
two years. She serves on the U.S. State Department
Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. The State
Department has offered the NCC its services to facilitate
Victor Hsu, NCC/Church World Service Director for
East Asia and the Pacific, said that "during the visit, in
addition to listening to the Christian community and to the
government, we will be expressing to them the concerns of
the U.S. churches about reports of religious persecution in
China affecting not only places of worship but also the
lives of individuals, including persons in prison. We can
do that without being put into a confrontational
The delegation visit represents the first official
participation of Ambassador Young as NCC President Elect
for 2000-01. He will preach on Sunday, Oct. 11, at
Nanjing's Mochou Church.
Founded in the 1920s, the now post-denominational
church is of Presbyterian background. Its membership
numbers more than 2,000 believers, and more than 1,600
worship there every Sunday. The China Christian Council
has invited Ambassador Young "to preach on any theme good
for church unity and its spiritual growth."
Besides Andrew and Carolyn Young (who will join the
delegation Oct. 9), Dr. Campbell and Mr. Hsu, NCC
delegation members will include Dr. Peter Pizor, Chair of
the Worldwide Ministries Division of the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.); Ms. Sharon Maeda, Deputy General
Secretary, Mission Contexts and Relationships/Mission
Education, General Board of Global Ministries, United
Methodist Church, and the Rev. Dr. Albert A. Pennybacker,
NCC Associate General Secretary for Public Policy.
The delegation was to have included Drs. William and
Dellanna O'Brien of the Southern Baptist Convention, but
Mrs. O'Brien, who is Executive Director of the SBC Women's
Missionary Union, suffered a stroke in late September and
is recovering in the hospital.
"We are saddened by the circumstances that prevent
their participation, but we are relieved that Mrs.
O'Brien's condition is improving," Dr. Campbell said. "We
have extended our concern and prayers to the O'Briens, as
has the China Christian Council." Dr. William O'Brien is
Director, Global Center for World Evangelization, Beeson
Divinity School, Birmingham, Ala.
"Our goal in having representatives from the Southern
Baptist Convention," she said, "was to broaden the
representation of the U.S. Christian community on the trip
to include another body that has wrestled with the issues
of religious freedom and persecution."
The delegation will spend Oct. 8-9 in Shanghai, Oct.
10-11 in Nanjing and Oct. 12-15 in Beijing. The schedule
will include a visit to the headquarters of the China
Christian Council, a meeting with Bishop K.H. Ting and with
Dr. Han Wenzao, President of the China Christian Council,
and, most likely, a visit to the Academy of Social
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