The Salvation Army's work in mainland China has been given a boost with news that the regional offices in China have received official government recognition and registration. The offices in the capital cities of Kunming (Yunnan Province) and Chengdu (Sichuan Province) have received official recognition and been given legal approval to conduct activities which include: disaster relief, disaster recovery, community development, social services, educational programs and – at the invitation of Provincial Christian Councils – permission to partner with local congregations in religious activities.

This achievement is the direct result of 30 years of patient, transparent and consistent relationship with government departments and Christian councils as well as partnerships with a multitude of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Lt-Colonel Ian Swan (Officer Commanding, Hong Kong and Macau Command) says: "Over the years there have been many hands and hearts joined in this process; however, we would acknowledge with gratitude the following individuals in particular: Lieut-Colonel Alfred Tsang, Envoy Simon Wong, Major Tommy Chan, Major On Quang-dieu, Major Jeremy Lam and Dr Chan Pui-si."

The Salvation Army's ministry opened in mainland China in 1916 and quickly expanded across the northern and eastern provinces until 1949, when it withdrew from the mainland. Ministry and social services were retained in Hong Kong. In 1985, at the invitation of the Yunnan Provincial Government, The Salvation Army provided disaster relief and recovery in mainland China. This opened the door to further collaborations and partnerships which resulted in a wide geographical distribution of service and a greater recognition of the organization's presence. These programs included health education, HIV-AIDS awareness, education sponsorship, income-generation projects to alleviate poverty, infrastructure and capital projects, consultation and training.

In 2015, the Central Government of China reviewed its registration expectations and procedures which resulted in the establishment of a new law in January 2017. Significant meetings in 2016 with the government and Christian councils during the visit of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox explored ways in which The Salvation Army could comply with these new regulations while expanding its partnerships and scope of work to better serve all the people of China. These discussions were very productive and opened new approaches which have now borne fruit.

"God has richly blessed our efforts and desire to serve the mainland and its peoples," says Lt-Colonel Swan. "We now have further opportunities and responsibilities to build on these foundations so the next 30 years will produce results for future generations."


On Monday, October 16, 2017, Ira Barrow said:

Having read Arnold Brown's marvelous book, YIN (Look what the mountain blew in) and having seen in a video clip Colonel Yin (the main character in Brown's account of the "rise and fall" of The Salvation Army in China) I am more than blessed by this story. To me it indicates that The Salvation Army was indeed raised by God and nurtured by faithful Salvationists (officers and laity alike).

May God by His grace honor the faithfulness of saints of the past and efforts of soldiers and officers of the present. God bless The Salvation Army.


On Friday, September 22, 2017, Niels Peter Arskog said:

I lived in Beijing for 12 years (1995-2008) and visited many of the Army's projects especially in Shandong and Yunnan Provinces together with Alfred Tsang or Put-si Chan and often the project office in Kunming (Yunnan). And in Beijing I passed, photographed and longed for reopening of the Army's old Headquarters/Training College and central Corps (Wangfujing). I have always believed the day would come... so I rejoice now for a little bit of the way. But you have an incorrect historical fact. The Army did NOT withdraw from Mainland China in 1949 (When Mao Tsedong and his communists took over the country). in 1951-52 all foreign Army-officers ("Missionaries") were asked to leave the country and the Salvation Army in China should be under sole leadership of Chinese nationals. And this continued until in 1958 the Army was ordered to unite with all other Protestant/Evangelical Churches in the Three-Self Church. But of course true, that all connections with IHQ and the SA in other countries was broken/forbidden already from 1951-52. I have interview a number of veteran officers (one who proudly showed me his Major's Uniform, that he could not wear in public!) who still lived in Beijing, when I lived there, one of them had become a Minister of the Three-Self Church and was still active in late 1990's! I am a journalist and have been writing many stories (some also in the international War Cry!) about the Army and Army history in China, and about all religion in that huge country... interviewed pastors and bishops, visited many, many Christian Churches and at least two Pastor's Seminars/Colleges (in Beijing and Nanjing).


On Thursday, September 21, 2017, Andy Pogson said:

Major Yin OF would have been impressed.


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