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Members of the congregations of three churches – one Baptist, one Presbyterian and one Methodist – gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina, to pray for missionaries, the Raleigh Times reported June 25, 1900. The missionaries were serving in China and the Far East during the early days of the Boxer Rebellion.
The service opened with a psalm that reads, “Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?”
Following prayers, a scholar spoke about the uprising and its roots. The rebellion’s organizer was a former pupil of a missionary named Roberts. According to the scholar, the Chinese organizer had learned some Christianity from Roberts and “perverted it to suit his own selfish ends.”
The organizer claimed “he received a message from heaven to sweep the foreign devils out of China.”
Chinese History Lesson
China contained one-third of the world’s population in 1900, the Times said, yet people in some parts of the country were ignorant to the rebellion.
The scholar said he thought the rebellion was divined by God to “Christianize China, so great is the superstition and ignorance of the people.”
One of the ministers said that saw two outcomes for China. The first was that the missionary has become the most prominent figure in the world. The second was that God was preparing for the Christianization of China by drawing attention to it.
The blood of martyrs would be the seed of the Christian church in China, he said.
The closing remarks of the prayer service were that God would “bring light and peace into dark and troubled China.”
Who do you think was the group that was truly ignorant? The Chinese people or those trying to push their beliefs on another culture? Leave a comment below.
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