From the Worldwide Faith News archives

NCCCUSA Delegation to China Oct. 8-15

Date 02 Oct 1998 12:35:30

National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Contact:  NCC News, 212-870-2252



 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 
the visit.  

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 


Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home