It is said that there are about 50 million Christians in China (40 million Protestant and 12 million Catholic). It is also said that house churches make up a large part of the Christian community and women are the leaders of these house churches.
My Chinese friend tells me that Protestant missionaries are now telling these women leaders of the house churches that only men can teach women, and that women must again take a secondary role in their lives.
For over 1,000 years, young girls in China had their feet bound and their foot bones broken to conform to this obscene tradition. It is believed that girls’ feet were bound to keep them from becoming independent.
I have just finished reading several books by Lisa See in which she shows how patriarchy was lived out in China. Girls were told to obey their fathers, then their husbands, and when they were widows, they were to obey their sons. In reality, obeying the sons began in the home with the first-born son.
In the 1860s and onward, American missionary women began going to China and opening Christian schools and teaching women. Male missionaries were not as welcome because men could not converse with women in that society. These women missionaries were largely responsible for the outlawing of female footbinding.
However, girls and women were still under the control of fathers, husbands, and sons.
It took the communist regime to give women freedom and independence. However old ideas and ways do not completely go away just because there is a new regime in town. Legally, women could be equals, but in practice, many were not.
It is a shame that it took a communist regime to give women legal freedom.
It is a greater shame that it is Christians who seek to take that freedom away from Chinese women.
What a turn of events! Chinese women were freed by communists, and are now bound by missionaries.
What is done in America is carried across the waters to other cultures, binding them to a culture that Christians have been freed from by Jesus Christ.
Take off your bindings! Unwrap yourself! Remove the wrapping from around your own female body. Wrapping the body is for the dead. We are alive! Claim your freedom through Jesus Christ.