The Amity Foundation (爱德 基金会Àidé Jījīn Huì ) is a Christian (Protestant) non-governmental organization in the People's Republic of China . It is active in development aid and also operates what is probably the largest Bible printing company in the world as a joint venture with the World Bible Society .
The Amity Foundation was established on April 18, 1985 in Nanjing . It goes back to an initiative of Bishop Ting Huang Ksun († 2012). Ting came from the Anglican tradition and studied at Saint John's University in Shanghai . He lived with his family in the United States from 1946 to 1951 and was a graduate of Union Theological Seminary . Returning to China, he joined the Patriotic Three-Self Movement. In 1980 he became president of the newly formed Christian Council of China and also chaired the Nanjing Theological Seminary for over 50 years. Theologically, Ting was influenced by liberation theology and by Teilhard de Chardin's work. From this he derived the task of Christians to work on building a socially just Chinese society ( social gospel ).
The first general secretary of the Amity Foundation was Wenzao Han († 2006). After his education he was an engineer and his Christian convictions were decisively shaped by the YMCA in Shanghai. He was also a functionary in the Patriotic Three-Self Movement and President of the Christian Council. “What is also crucial with Wenzao Han is that his understanding of Christianity and the church included political and socially responsible action. That brought him to the side of the communist government. "
The Amity Foundation started with three employees and two tables in the corner of a department store in Nanjing. On a trial basis, she was given permission to employ foreign English teachers and run a small printing press. In order to be able to work in China for the long term, Amity took some precautionary measures. The teachers were thoroughly checked and obliged not to engage in evangelism independently and only to have contact with state-registered Christian communities. Otherwise the focus was on social work. The local party cadres were initially negative. Amity was often not allowed to work on the grounds that there were no Christians living in the area. Local authorities suspected that accepting development aid did not make a good impression on higher levels of the party. It took around ten years for Amity to gain so much recognition from the authorities at the national level that the cooperation at the local level also benefited from it.
In March 1993, the strategic decision was made to operate the majority of the projects in western China.
State awards for Amity (selection):
- 1997: National exemplary organization for assistance to the disabled,
- 1999 and 2009: Exemplary Organization for National Unity and Progress,
- 2006: National Prize for the Reduction of Poverty.
Fields of activity
The Amity Foundation developed a wide range of tasks. This includes education, health, social welfare, environmental protection, and women's education. It is represented in 31 provinces in mainland China.
Apart from these social diaconal tasks, the Amity Foundation is also dedicated to the dissemination of Chinese Bibles, hymn books and Christian literature. The Amity Printing Company has a monopoly on printing this Christian media in the People's Republic of China.
Almost 90 full-time workers work at the headquarters in Nanjing; the entire workforce consists of almost 1000 people. They are not exclusively Protestant Christians, as the Protestant profile tends to recede in practical work.
Amity currently provides development aid and disaster relief in a number of Chinese provinces ( Guizhou , Yunnan , Shaanxi , Guangxi , Hunan , Sichuan , Inner Mongolia , Gansu , Qinghai , Ningxia , Shanxi , Jiangsu and Fujian ) and worldwide ( North Korea , Kenya , Philippines , Nepal , Ecuador , Sri Lanka , Ethiopia ).
One focus of Amity is improving the living conditions for the Chinese rural population. In this context, village doctors are trained and village clinics are built, there are HIV prevention and integration offers for people affected by HIV and their families.
"For the Chinese state, Amity is an important, state-controlled social agency with not unimportant financial contacts abroad." The German partners of the Amity Foundation include:
- Bread for the world ;
- Mission EineWelt - Center for Partnership, Development and Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria;
- Evangelical Mission in Germany (EMW).
- Karl-Fritz Daiber : Protestantism and Confucian culture: Aspects of their assignment in China and South Korea. LIT Verlag, Berlin 2017
- Karl-Fritz Daiber: Protestantism and Confucian culture . S. 55 .
- Karl-Fritz Daiber: Protestantism and Confucian Culture . S. 54 .
- Karrie J. Koesel: Religion and Authoritarianism: Cooperation, Conflict, and the Consequences . Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 78-79 .
- Amity (brochure). P. 3 , accessed December 25, 2018 .
- Karl-Fritz Daiber: Protestantism and Confucian culture . S. 56 .
- Amity (brochure). P. 14 , accessed on November 24, 2018 .
- Karl-Fritz Daiber: Protestantism and Confucian culture . S. 57 .