China Religious Affairs Minister’s Visit to Bible Societies in Africa

(Front row fr left to rt): Chongqing Religious Affairs Director-General Tang Jianxiang, Most Revd Dr John Chew, Bible Society’s General Secretary Simon Peter Mukhama, Minister Wang Zuoan, and Most Revd Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda.
Group photo taken at Bible Society of Uganda

At the invitation of the Primates of Kenya, Uganda and Southern Africa, the China Religious Affairs Minister Wang Zuoan led a 10-person religious affairs officials’ delegation to the three countries from May 12 to 24, 2011. This visit was arranged by the Most Revd Dr John Chew, Primate of South East Asia and Vice President of the United Bible Societies (UBS). Mr Kua Wee Seng, the UBS China Partnership Coordinator, was invited to accompany the Minister and his delegation and to assist Archbishop John Chew in the visit. (PHOTO: front row from left to right Chongqing Religious Affairs Director-General Tang, Most Revd Dr John Chew, Bible Society’s General Secretary Simon Peter Mukhama, Minister Wang Zuoan, and Most Revd Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda.)

It was Minister Wang’s first visit to Africa and he was very impressed with the Church in these countries. He was particularly impressed by the Church’s involvement in, and contribution to, education and community services. The Chinese Government is encouraging the Chinese Church and the other religious and social groups to be more involved in community and social services.

wang and president uganda
Minister Wang Zuoan presenting to His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, a copy of the Good News Sunrise Bible.

Owing to the friendship and good relationship between SARA (State Administration for Religious Affairs) and the UBS Fellowship, Minister Wang requested to visit the Bible Societies in these countries. The Bible Societies warmly welcomed the Minister and his delegation, as well as the Primates accompanying the delegation. The Bible Societies introduced their ministries to the visiting delegation and they acknowledged the strong support they have received from the Churches, especially from the respective Primates.

The General Secretaries took the opportunity to thank Minister Wang and SARA for their vital support of the UBS’s partnership with the Church in China over the years. This partnership has enabled millions of Bible to be printed in China, not only for the Christians in China, but also for the Christians in Africa. As high as 97% of the Bible distributed by the Bible Society of South Africa were printed by the Amity Press in Nanjing. The corresponding percentages for the Bible Society of Uganda and the Bible Society of Kenya were 81% and 78% respectively.

We thank God for the successful visit by Minister Wang and the SARA delegation to Africa. It is our prayer that this visit will not only encourage a closer relationship between the Church in China and the Churches in Africa, but also strengthen the strong partnership between the Chinese Church and the UBS Fellowship.

Photos taken by UBSCP/Mr Kua Wee Seng

Edited by UBSCP/Pamela Choo