Once again, the week of prayer for Christian unity is back. Once again, I would like to turn the spotlight on Chinese Christians. It is true that many of them do not know much about this joint initiative of the World Council of Churches and of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Yet, with divisions among them being multiple and deep, prayers are much needed.
Catholics around the world are aware of how political tensions have deeply divided Chinese Catholicism. Yet the week of prayer for Christian unity invites us to turn our attention toward non-Catholic Christians.
This year the theme of the week is “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.” It was selected by the monastic and ecumenical Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland in relation to John 15:1-17. In this section of the Gospel, Jesus invites us to contemplate how God the gardener trims his vine to make it bear even more fruit.
Guided by this theme, we need to look at the young branches growing out of Chinese Protestant communities. To identify some of the difficulties they are facing and inform our prayers for unity, I would like to shed light on what I call a generational crisis.