ADHRRF – On February 10, 2018, in order to promote mutual understanding and friendship, Chinese house church Christians and German friends held a grand open house to celebrate Lunar New Year in the Protestant parish church (Evangelische Petrusgemeinde) in the German city of Rastatt.
This Lunar New Year celebration was hosted by The Church of Almighty God. About 80 people, including some local pastors, caring people, lawyers, activists, reporters, and Christians from other churches, participated by invitation. In this event, Chinese Christians brought the guests a program of performances of vibrant hymns, dances, and martial arts, which expressed the happiness they felt from coming to this country with freedom of religion, and from meeting their German friends. Everyone joined together to enjoy the performances, communicate with each other, and savor Chinese food. There was a general atmosphere of great warmth and harmony.
Mr. and Mrs. Stooß (heads of the Evangelical Church in Engstingen, Germany) said: “We are very fond of these German songs sung by Christians of The Church of Almighty God. They have beautiful melodies and good lyrics.”
Herta and Jrmgard are sisters. They said: “Such an event provides a good opportunity for Christians to meet with each other, and we are very glad to attend it and hope we can come again next year.”
A German Catholic said: “Although we have different cultures, there is a link between us, and that is God!”
Pastor Friedrich Walz said: “I’ve had a wonderful time this afternoon. Not only have I seen these fantastic performances, but I have also been able to discuss the situation of the persecution of The Church of Almighty God Christians with German friends from various regions who have extended their help to them. The Chinese government has spread many ugly rumors about The Church of Almighty God in order to shift the blame to them, but in all of my interactions with them I have discovered that they really are good Christians.”
Ms. Korn, pastor from the Lutheran Church said: “I saw a lot of negative reports online by the Chinese Communist government describing The Church of Almighty God as really horrible, but in my interactions with these Christians I have discovered that what they actually live out is entirely different from how they’re described. I am unwilling to believe these groundless allegations, and I will not believe them. I only believe what I have seen and experienced.”
A Christian from The Church of Almighty God said: “In spite of the Chinese government’s persecution and that we have had to leave our homeland, here we have experienced true freedom of religion and we are finally able to hold gatherings with peace of mind, and to sing, dance, and offer thanks and praise to God.”
As the celebration was coming to a close, these Christians played some self-produced short films sharing some of the joyful times they had shared with their foreign friends. Some guests were moved to the point of tears after seeing their own pictures in the short films. A guest said with emotion: “We really are one big family!”