SARA Vice Minister Jiang Jianyong Visit to Australia 8-12 Nov 2012

SARA delegation visited Bible Society Australia at Ingelburn. Photo: UBS China Partnership.

Mr Jiang Jianyong, Vice Minister of State Administration of Religious Affairs visited Australia. United Bible Societies China Partnership (UBSCP) helped in the arrangement of this trip together with Bible Society Australia. Ms Yeo Tan Tan, Manager at UBSCP, accompanied and interpreted for the delegation.

The following article was first published on SARA website in Chinese on 14 Nov 2012

On the invitation by Bible Society Australia (BSA), Vice Minister Jiang Jianyong of the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) led a delegation of 8 officials in-charge of religious work, to visit Australia Sydney and Melbourne from 8 to 12 November 2012.

Mr Richard Halstead, Vice Chairman of BSA Board and Dr Greg Clarke, CEO of BSA, gave a warm and friendly welcome ceremony for the delegation. Dr. Clarke said that BSA will continue to maintain a close working relationship with the Chinese Church and Amity Foundation to support the Church in China to publish Bibles. He further mentioned that BSA is also an important customer of Nanjing Amity Printing Company as most Bibles in Australia are printed in China.

(L)-(R) Mr Gu Chuanyong, Vice Minister Jiang Jianyong and Mr Greg Page in Bible Society Australia Bookshop. Photo: UBSCP/Yeo Tan Tan.

Vice Minister Jiang gave high recognition to the positive contributions BSA has made to promote exchanges on Christianity in China and Australia, and for supporting the Bible publication work in both countries.  Vice Minister Jiang further assured that SARA will continue to support the development of friendly dialog and cooperation between Christian circles in both countries based on the foundation of equality, independence and mutual respect.

While in Australia, the delegation visited the BSA Bible Distribution Center at Ingelburn; Wesley Institute; Australia oldest church – St Philip’s York Street; St Matthew’s Church; Camberwell Methodist Church; Melbourne Baptcare – Hedley Sutton Aged Care Facility and Family Services (Moonee Ponds Office) and Parliament House.

The short 4-days visit has achieved positive results, enhanced mutual understanding, deepened friendship and cooperation. Mr Geoff Warren, BSA representative in Melbourne, in his speech during the farewell dinner for the delegates, said that China’s development is exciting. BSA, being the first non-profit organization to be registered in Australia, hopes to further deepen friendship with the church in China, and together, write the history of Christian friendship of the two nations.

In the SARA delegation are also Mr Gu Chuanyong, Vice Director-General of Jiangsu Religious Affairs Bureau and Mr Mo Xingfu, Vice Director-General of Zhejiang Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission and other staff from SARA Foreign Affairs Division and Second Department.

More photographs can be found at Facebook.

Translated by Ms Yeo Tan Tan
UBS China Partnership