Hannah Nation was not intentionally seeking to do ministry work in China. But as many stories in ministry go, she found herself right where God wanted her.

Hannah began her story with the Chinese church in college. When she visited China, she was overwhelmed by the immense amount of people.

“It is really hard to go to a country with more than a billion people and not be blown away by it—both culturally and by taking stock of what the Lord is doing there,” she said. “And also how much the next important chapters in church history are being written in China today.”

After becoming more familiar with the Chinese church and the unique social and political position of Chinese Christians, Hannah helped found and direct The Center for House Church Theology, an organization that publishes leaders in Chinese house churches and shares their stories with the rest of the world.

Typically, when people in Western contexts seek information about the Chinese church, they find material that is written by other Western voices or people who have an outsider’s perspective. The center’s aim is to amplify voices from inside Chinese house churches and share insights and stories with other persecuted Christians.

In 2023, Open Doors reported, the country saw the most church attacks and closures in the world (estimated at 10,000) and ranked in the top 20 countries where Christians are the most persecuted. Pew lists China as one of the countries with the most government restrictions on religion.

Because of the security concerns with sharing names or photographs online, Christianity in China can feel faceless. Although there are internal networks among Chinese Christians, it is hard for the outside world to get a firsthand view of what the church in China looks like. Hannah shared, “[the anonymity of house churches in China] can increase its otherness and it can increase the feeling that this is something really distant and really far away.”

Hannah wants to see the voices in Chinese churches emanate across the world and speak beyond their context, to the Chinese diaspora and to Christians being persecuted in other countries. Their experiences have the potential to resonate with those dealing with increasing Hindu nationalism in India or those in the Muslim-majority world—and we need to hear their story.

Hannah sees Christianity Today connecting those communities.

“My guess is that the American church is far more isolated from the global church than the global church is from American Christianity. American Christians struggle to know what is happening in churches in other parts of the world, and importantly, they struggle to understand why it matters,” Hannah said. “CT is working hard to change that reality.”

One of Hannah’s favorite pieces she has written was published at CT in 2021. “To Pray for Afghan Christians, I Look to China’s Church” is an example of the type of bridge building Hannah wants to see: connecting those in other countries with the stories and voices of those in the Chinese church.

Since writing that article, Hannah has been encouraged by what she sees at Christianity Today and in its work regarding China and the Chinese diaspora. She also sees Christianity Today being a leader in expanding the Western church’s perception of what global Christianity means.

“To be a good storyteller you first have to be a good listener,” Hannah said. “Otherwise, you’re just telling your own stories through other people’s contexts.”

She is particularly impressed by CT’s work with Song “Sean” Cheng, who worked at CT for over two years as Asia Editor and later Chinese Managing Editor . “I knew Song before he was hired, and I know a lot of the people he knows,” she said. “When CT hired him, that was probably the first time I really felt like a major publication was actually doing the due diligence and the work of finding an actual insider and bringing them on to execute their global vision for publishing.”

Sean has published pieces in English, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese. In the past year, he has published Chinese-specific content that is later translated into English, a first among CT’s global coverage. Along with the rest of the CT Global team, Sean worked diligently to reach Chinese Christians all over the world with stories of struggles and hope. And Hannah sees his impact.

“On social media and on Facebook, I am always impressed with how much I see the Chinese community … appreciating Sean’s work and appreciating what he has done at CT. They feel like someone who really understands them and knows them and knows China is helming CT’s work in the Chinese language.”

Sean has also connected Hannah and The Center for House Church Theology with CT’s Indonesian translation team to help in their efforts to translate resources from Chinese into Indonesian.

When asked about where CT can grow in its global efforts, Hannah said Christianity Today is already making a huge effort to have people from their own contexts be in the center of their church’s narratives.

In the past three years, Christianity Today’s global team has increased in size and scope. CT currently has staffers around the world, bringing global stories to the forefront of the church’s attention. Whether that is covering security laws in Hong Kong, Christian influencers in Brazil, or persecution in India, CT is dedicated to sharing stories and news from the entire global church.

Hannah is encouraged that CT shares her passion for amplifying the voices of the global persecuted church. She says, “My dream is that one day, we’ll have articles on American politics by writers in Hong Kong, Kenya, and India alongside content from our own leaders. If we could get there, we wouldn’t just be elevating the global church—we would be listening to it and letting it speak to us as much as we speak to it.”