An exhibition supported by China Christian Council (CCC) will open in three US cities between April and June, said the Council in Beijing on Tuesday.
The exhibition, a joint CCC and the Protestant Churches of China initiative, will be the first to have been taken abroad by a religious group.
The organizers of this US mission held a similar exhibition in Hong Kong in August, 2004, drawing crowds of 30,000.
"The theme of the US exhibition is-A lamp at my feet lights my path," explained Cao Shengjie, president of the CCC. He said the exhibition would be in Los Angeles from April 27 to May 4, Atlanta from May 19-24 and New York between June 5-12. .
Cao said the main purposes of the historic exhibition were, "To show the lives of Chinese Christians, the good news of the Bible's teachings being spread in China, how the body of Christ had been guided by the words of God and how the church contributes to society.
"The exhibition is also designed to bring new understanding between Americans and Chinese," said Cao. "It will also assist create a greater dialogue between Christians in China and the United States," she added. Few Americans were aware of the rapid development Christianity in China, she observed.
"I know many Christians in the US are very concerned about China," Cao said. "They think Chinese Christians have no access to bibles."
In fact, by the end of 2005, almost 40 million bibles had been published in China, Cao said. She added that this figure included some minority language editions.
According to the organizers one of the rare works of art being taken to the US is a large wooden carving called 'The Life of Jesus' in which 75 Bible stories featuring 1,000 biblical figures are carved in sixty-layers on a 100-year-old block of camphor wood.
Most of the exhibits are being displayed outside the Chinese mainland for the first time, Cao acknowledged.
According to a recent CCC estimate, the number of Protestant Christians in China exceeds 16 million and is still rising. "Let's pray to God the figure will grow larger," Cao said.
Cao said, "As Bishop K.H. Ting, a prominent leader in the Chinese Church, says: 'The Bible unites us.' We anticipate that these Bible Ministry Exhibitions will bring unity and the love of God between the two countries and their people."
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2006)