Allan Yuan, um símbolo do movimento das igrejas clandestinas na China, morreu no dia 16 de agosto, em Pequim. Ele estava com 91 anos.
Um pequeno funeral aconteceu hoje. Enquanto Alice, sua esposa, deixava sua casa para ir ao funeral, ela disse com muita paz que seu querido esposo estava finalmente com o Senhor.
Allan sofreu aprisionamentos, oposição e perseguição por muitos anos por causa do seu ministério que gerou frutos incontáveis na China.
"Nossa família já estava preparada para a sua morte". Disse Alice, que conta com o apoio dos seus seis filhos, sendo que um deles, Yuan Fu Sing, continuará liderando a igreja do pai.
A seguir a história completa da vida de Allan Yuan em inglês.
(Clique aqui para ler o texto em português)
Renowned House Church Leader Allen Yuan Dies
Allen Yuan, a towering figure in Chinas house-church movement during severe eras of Christian persecution, died August 16 at a hospital in Beijing. He was 91.
A small funeral took place in Beijing on Friday (August 19). As Yuans wife Alice left her home for his funeral on Friday, she was calm and joyful that her long-persecuted husband was at last with the Lord.
"Our family was well prepared for his death," she said. Yuan is survived by six children. His second son, Yuan Fu Sing, continues to lead his church.
Yuan led growing congregations before and after imprisonment for his Christian faith. He was one of 11 preachers, including Watchman Nee and Wang Ming Dao, who refused to join the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) after the Communist rule of Mao Tse-Tung began in 1949. In 1958, at 44, he was arrested when the regime determined his Christian faith was "counter-revolutionary."
Yuan received a life sentence with no hope of parole, leaving his mother, his wife and six children, ages 6 to 17, without means of sustenance. Because of policy changes in China over the next few decades, though, he was released in December 1979, having served a total of 21 years and eight months.
His imprisonment included 14 years in the northeastern region where temperatures regularly went far below freezing; initially he and other prisoners slept outside in -30 degree (C.) cold until they could build their prison. He also endured six months of solitary confinement in a cell so small that it temporarily crippled him. Throughout his imprisonment, he had no access to a Bible and virtually no contact with other Christians.
"His physical body was weak, but his spirit was as strong as a giant," said Johnny Li, minister-at-large for Open Doors International. "Yuan paid a high price simply for refusing to compromise his faith in Jesus."
After his release, Yuan served a 10-year probation without citizen rights. He continued to lead many people to Christ as he shared the gospel with visitors to his home.
In 1998, when he baptized more than 300 new believers, he was placed under house arrest. Nevertheless, a few years later he pastored a "protest" congregation -- an unregistered house church meeting openly for worship. As late as 2003, he was baptizing about 300 new converts each year in a nondescript area outside of Beijing.
Earlier this month, police attempted to disrupt an outdoor baptism service; Yuans ministry team still managed to baptize a few hundred people. Covert services have continued.
Open Doors began providing Bibles to Yuan in 1986. Li of Open Doors said he last saw Yuan in July 2004. "He said, Next Sunday we are going to have baptisms. I dont know how many people will come or whether the PSBwill stop us, but we will do it!"
The following Sunday, 453 people received water baptism, Li said.
Yuan was born in 1914 in South China, and his family moved to Beijing in 1928. At age 17, Yuan began a search for the answers to three questions: Why was life so meaningless, how could one overcome sin and temptation to live a holy life, and what would happen after life on earth ended? Initially he dismissed Christianity as a Western religion, but after a fruitless search of Buddhism and Confucianism, a year later he received Christ. He recalled: "God revealed Himself into my heart at that moment and gave me the faith to believe in Him. There I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my personal Savior."
In 1938 he completed studies at Far East Theological Seminary. By 1940 he had moved with his wife and young son to Hebei province for evangelistic ministry in rural villages. Returning to Beijing in 1945, he started a church in a rented hall in 1946 with a Norwegian missionary. Baptisms increased from about 20 in 1947 to 40 in 1949, with another 52 in 1952, according to Lydia Lees biography of Yuan, A Living Sacrifice.
According to the biography, when the Communists gained power in 1949, many church pastors and missionaries fled the country. Yuan received offers to pastor in Indonesia and elsewhere. He declined. "Why should I go abroad?" Yuan told a fellow pastor in Beijing. "I was called to serve God in China, and he will make a way for me."
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