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Memorial Center Dedicated To China Missions Pioneer, Robert Morrison

ICC: Over 200 years with God’s word and China still tries to keep Jesus silent.

by Dan Wooding

10/20/07, China (ANS)Chinese Christians from Hong Kong and Macau recently dedicated a memorial to Robert Morrison, the 19th-century missionary credited with writing the first Chinese-language translation of the English Bible.

According to story by Linda Li that was posted on the Christian Post website (, over 250 people, including pastors from the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China, were present for opening ceremony of The Morrison Memorial Center of Macau.

Li wrote, “Macau, where Morrison made it his life’s work to translate the Bible, is the site of the historic missionary’s final resting place.

“Though Morrison’s Chinese translations are generally viewed as indiscernible by most Chinese scholars, his work is still seen as an important milestone for Christian history in China.

“The new center will serve as an information-exchange location for Macau churches to promote evangelism in both Macau and Hong Kong.”

Morrison’s Work in China

Li said that the Scottish-born missionary first crossed the ocean at age 25 with the intent to preach the gospel to Qing-era China, which was generally hostile to foreigners.

“After failing to secure permission to enter the country, Morrison settled in Macau – then a Portuguese trading-colony,” she continued.

“Drawing on his earlier setback, Morrison insightfully advised his patrons at the London Missionary Society (LMS) to train local Chinese to be missionaries in an era when white European missionaries dominated the China missions sphere.

“He later urged the LMS to develop the Chinese Research Center, which would print Chinese-language material to bring the Gospel to Chinese readers. The center was not established until after Morrison’s death in 1834.

“In 1818, Morrison used his own money to establish Ying Wa College, the first Anglo-Chinese school in the world. The school, which still stands today, has been the alma mater for many leading figures in Hong Kong society since then.”

Li said that throughout his career, Morrison often faced financial difficulties and often relied on his friend “Shi,” whom he converted along with another Chinese believer. Both men would later assist Morrison in creating the first Chinese-language translation of the English Bible.

“It is amazing how Morrison overcame long spells of loneliness while evangelizing through publication to a people who were alien in culture to that of the British,” said the Rev. David Wang, editor of the Macau Times Christian publication.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Scottish missionary’s arrival to Macau. A service to memorialize the pioneering missionary was held at “Igreja Chi Tou” church in Macau.