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One Book, One Church is an opportunity for us to pause individually to read a common book. Then we will gather as a community of faith to have meaningful discussions, guest speakers, interviews and fellowship. Our sixth selection is Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family, by Jennifer Lin, a past journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Do you have any idea what happened to us?”
The year was 1979. The question—whispered by an uncle at a family reunion in Shanghai—launched a 30-year quest by journalist Jennifer Lin to piece together her family history. The result is Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family, both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of Christianity in China. The cast is compelling: a poor fisherman; a doctor who treats opium addicts; an Ivy League-educated Anglican priest; the charismatic religious leader Watchman Nee; and two sisters whose hopes and dreams were torn asunder. The settings are evocative: remote 19th-century mission outposts, cosmopolitan 1930s Shanghai, the frigid plains of China’s northeast—even the genteel streets of Philadelphia a century ago.
The book’s central figure, the Reverend Lin Pu-chi, is the author’s grandfather. Through his eyes we witness China’s tumultuous past, up to and beyond the betrayals and madness of the Cultural Revolution, when the family’s resolute faith led to years of suffering and persecution.
With its sweep of history and the intimacy of long-hidden family stories, Shanghai Faithful offers a fresh look at Christianity in China—past, present, and future.
Books will be for sale for $10 in connector between services.