Government-recognized churches in China observed Easter Sunday with praise meetings, prayers, Communion services and baptisms.
A year after the pandemic, life in most parts in China has returned to normal after a decline in the number of new Coronavirus infections and deaths. Restrictions were slowly lifted and Christians resumed going to churches, especially during the Holy Week.
Eight registered churches in Guangxi, Liaoning, and Shaanxi Provinces were allowed to reopen and hold services to mark the holy day, reports China Christian Daily.
The experience of Covid-19 has brought us to reflect on the precious value of life, highlighting the central role of the family in the domestic church. —Bishop Stephen Lee of Macau
Beihai Church in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region held four services with sermons about the following topics: “Hope after Resurrection,” “The Lord Has Risen,” “The Resurrection of Christ Over Death” and “I and He Live, as the Lord Lives.” Each service included Communion services.
Another church in Guangxi, Hepu Church, held morning and evening services with a theme focusing on the importance of Jesus’ resurrection in Christianity. The choir sang hymns on resurrection such as “Christ Arose,” and “Because He Lives” to Christians who may be feeling down because of the pandemic.
Pastor Guan Ronglei encouraged believers to emulate Paul, who whole-heartedly believed in Christ’s triumph over death. The cleric urged the faithful to rely on Him and look forward to His return.
The Cheng’en Christian Church of Dalian in Liaoning Province was allowed to open at Easter after being shut down by the government twice.
Elder Shi Aijun of the Lühua Street Church in Anshan gave a sermon titled “The Lord Has Risen” at the morning and evening services to celebrate Easter.
Another church leader, Rev. Zheng Jinyue of Gaizhou Church quoted the Bible during her sermon as proof of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Mark 16:6 says: “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
In Shaanxi Province, the Tumen Church had a three-day celebration of Easter. The days were filled with worship, Bible reading, and listening to sermons three times daily.
Meantime, Christians in Xiantao city in China’s Hubei province combined the celebration of Easter Sunday with the traditional Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day. The Qingming Festival is a memorial celebration to honor ancestors. Many believers watched the fireworks display at the Qingming Festival before attending Easter service in the church, reports Herald Malaysia.
Catholics in Shanghai joined processions while wearing face masks and holding vigil candles.
“The experience of Covid-19 has brought us to reflect on the precious value of life, highlighting the central role of the family in the domestic church and demonstrating the importance of community bonding between families,” Bishop Stephen Lee of Macau said.