Last week marked the 2020 graduation ceremony of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, and each of the graduates desperately need your prayers.
According to the government, 102 students were allowed to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Theology. None of these graduates are connected to Back to Jerusalem or the underground house church, but they face obstacles that few can understand.
First off, each of these students face overwhelming odds. There are currently 60,000 official government churches in China, or to put it another way, one graduate for every 600 churches. This is only a drop in the ocean for what is needed, but that is how China has designed the system. The Communist Party purposefully consolidated all the other seminaries into one, so as to starve the church of the leadership that they need. Thousands of students apply to the seminary, but only a few are allowed to attend and even fewer allowed to graduate.
In addition, regardless of the passion that these students might posses for the Word of God, they can only teach what the government allows them. Each of the professors in Nanjing Union Theological Seminary have been hand-picked by the China Christian Council, which is tightly controlled by the Communist Party. In the Communist Party, members have to be sworn atheists. That means that the professors in the seminary, charged with training these students about God, are selected by those that do not believe in God.
Each of these graduates have another challenge, as they leave the seminary to serve at a government church in China. This year, China has been tearing down a record number of official churches. The chances of these students taking over the leadership of an official church, that will be torn down by the government, is higher today than in the last three decades.
Each of these students have tried to answer the call of God and appease the government of China. This is a spiritual tight rope.
Their job might be one of the hardest jobs in all of China.
Each of these students need your prayers.