China: God’s Word for the Rural Church

As the number of Christians in China continues to grow, the demand for God’s Word in rural areas also increases.

China is a land marked by economic progress. Clusters of skyscrapers reach to the heavens in sprawling cities throughout the country. Young people flock to urban areas where they get access to Starbucks, iPhones and McDonalds. Large cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have become centers of culture, commerce and industry.

Yet despite this rapid urbanization, roughly 50% of China’s population still lives in the rural areas. With a population of 1.4 billion people, that equates to 700 million people—more than twice the total population of the U.S.

And although city dwellers benefit from advances in technology, transportation and communication, rural residents face a different reality. In the countryside, farmers live in humble houses, often with dirt floors and mud walls. Villagers count on the strength of their backs and the sweat of their brows to eke out enough of a harvest to feed their families. They travel by foot or motorcycles on rutted dirt roads that prevent any cars or trucks from passing.

But there—in the midst of wheat fields and date trees, among winding roads and herds of goats—the church is growing.

And thanks to the support of generous financial partners, American Bible Society supports local Chinese churches with some of their greatest needs. Together they provide Bibles for growing congregations, give local church leaders Bible study tools that they can use to lead their congregations and equip pastors and teachers with sound, Scripture-based training at local Bible schools.

In the next pages, you will see a snapshot of the life of the Church in rural China. And you will see how that life is marked by hope, joy and faithfulness grounded in the message of God’s Word.

Rooted in Scripture

Life isn’t easy in rural China. Many churches are made up mostly of women, who work in the fields while their brothers, sons and husbands try to find work in the cities. Money is tight, which can make it hard for Christians to buy Bibles. When people receive Bibles for free, they celebrate with music and special services. Bibles here last an average of three to five years due to the damage from the rainy seasons and unheated homes.

Faithful through the Ages

Much of the growth in Christianity is due to God working through local, faithful believers over decades. Now, their faithfulness is bearing fruit throughout China, and the demand for Bibles has increased as a result of their testimony.

Leading the Church of Tomorrow

There are currently an estimated 100 million Christians in China, but just 23 Bible schools and seminaries. The need for biblical training for pastors and church leaders is overwhelming. Local churches are training lay leaders to help fill this gap. Financial partners have enabled American Bible Society to support the church in China by supplying Bible resources to both lay leaders and Bible school students.

You can help share God’s Word in China today! Visit

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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