Dateline

Religious news from around the world.

Religious news from around the world.

Pastors’ Council in Egypt

Ain-Al-Sokhna, Egypt­ Approximately 80 pastors of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East gathered together for professional, theological, and pastoral training in Egypt from Sep­tember 12–18, 2011.

“It is always a great experience when pastors and administrators are coming together to fellowship, train, and sharpen the pastoral tools given by God,” says Janos Kovacs-Biro, Ministerial Association Director at the Trans-European Division of Seventh-day Adventists (TED). This was the first time that the meeting was open for the pastors’ spouses as well. Pastor Kovacs-Biro explains, “During this pastors’ meeting we have experienced the readiness to learn and discuss relevant pastoral issues. My greatest joy is that the Middle East Union (MEU) pastors are willing to be engaged in God’s plan in order to make our Lord known in their surroundings, and invite people to become part of His story.”

Kjell Aune, MEU president, comments, “Within MEU we are quite focused on basic and continu­ing education for our pastoral staff. This quinquennial council provided quality teaching besides having a collegial and social value.” Aune emphasized, “Our team was knit closer together and we made new friends. All-in-all we had a very rewarding week together by the Red Sea in Egypt and we are thankful to all who contributed to this success.” [Jony Hajaj, tedNEWS]

Chinese Protestant leaders’ visit to headquarters precedes official visit to China next year

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States—Leaders from the official Protestant church in China paid a cour­tesy visit to the Seventh-day Adventist Church headquarters, October 3, 2011, the second time in two years.

The visit of representatives of the China Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee preceded the visit of the denomina­tion’s president to China next year. Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson and a small delegation from the church’s headquarters are sched­uled to visit China during March and April 2012, to strengthen relations with Adventist believers in China.

Leaders from the council previ­ously visited the Adventist Church headquarters in July 2010.

“We are grateful to have contact and visit Adventist believers in China through the official organization, the China Christian Council,” Wilson told Chinese officials during a protocol lunch yesterday. He thanked the lead­ers for helping to facilitate the visit.

The China Christian Council is a postdenominational organization of Protestants in China. “There are approx­imately 23 million Protestant Christians in China,” said Reverend Shen Xuebin, chairman of the Shanghai Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Church.

“Christians are a minority in China. Most people in China are atheists,” Shen said.

Adventist believers in China fall under the China Christian Council and are recognized as a special group for their worship services on Saturday. It is estimated that there are some 400,000 Adventist believers in China.

In the past few years, Adventist believers in China have built several large churches in agreement with authorities.

Next year’s trip will be Wilson’s first visit to China. His predecessor, Jan Paulsen, visited China in 2009. [Ansel Oliver/ANN]

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