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An Unlikely Historian of Revival: Interview with Eugene Bach

Eugene Bach speaks with about the amazing things he has seen God doing in China, Iran, North Korea, and other difficult places. What can we learn about the causes of the greatest revival of our age? How can you learn more about these Jesus movements that few others seem to be talking about? You have written books about Christianity in China, North Korea, and Iran. How did you become interested in writing about the persecuted church?

Eugene in Delhi, India.

Eugene Bach: Firstly, I am not an author. I have written books, but writing is not my gift. It is not something that I am good at. What I have written comes out of a sense of duty rather than a traditional interest. My background is in special operations in the US Military. As a former US Marine, I feel much more comfortable working with my hands, crawling in mud, and shooting weapons than sitting at a laptop writing, but as I have traveled around the world I realized that there are not many things that are written about certain areas of the world where Christians are persecuted.

If I desire to study the history of the western church in America and Europe, I will undoubtedly find a plethora of books that fill thousands of libraries from floor to ceiling. I will find endless discussions, websites, university courses, and computer programs to help me understand and learn more about the places, dates, and people involved in American and European revivals.

In contrast, the world is witnessing the world’s largest revival take place in China. What is being written about it? Who is recording it? What will the coming generations use to reference it?

The largest revival of any Muslim nation on earth is taking place in Iran. What is being written about it? There are so many pastors, missionaries, and evangelists that are doing amazing things and seeing tremendous church growth, but their stories are largely unknown to the rest of the world.

The world is witnessing the world’s largest revival take place in China.

I write the books I write not because I believe that I am good at writing. I am from the countryside in Indiana – my grammar is embarrassingly horrendous. Not even spell-check can help me, but as I work and travel in China, Iran, and North Korea I cannot help but witness things that few have ever heard about. I meet amazing saints that are fighting the good fight that no one knows the name of. In spite of my inabilities, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming burden to write and share with anyone and everyone that will listen or read. The growth of the church in China has attracted worldwide attention. What are some of the key factors that have contributed to this tremendous growth?

Eugene Bach: I do not want to pretend that I know the perfect answer to this question. I am not an expert on the house church in China. After having lived in China for more than 17 years, I have learned that the term “China Expert” is an oxymoron.

Could it be that revival in China has not happened in spite of persecution, but because of it?

I am writing the answers to these questions inside China. I am answering each question while sitting in an illegal Christian meeting. For the last couple of years, persecution in China seemed as if it was gradually on the decline, but 2016 and 2017 has shown something different.

I want to be extremely careful not to glorify persecution. I do not want to peddle a theology that profits from the pain of persecution, but I cannot deny the role that persecution has played in the growth of the church in China.

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Category: Church History, Winter 2018

About the Author: Eugene Bach is a pseudonym for a member of the Chinese underground church who does not wish to be identified. He was trained in U.S. military special operations and served two tours in the Persian Gulf and Asia–Pacific region, serving primarily as a member of a rapid response team focusing on targeted threat elimination, counterterrorism, and security. He has been working with the underground church in China for about twenty years, helping them to establish forward mission bases in closed countries around the world, including Iraq and Syria. Eugene leads the Chinese mission movement called Back to Jerusalem, which provides essential support for Chinese missionaries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author or co-author of I Stand with Christ: The Courageous Life of a Chinese Christian (2015), The Underground Church (2014), Leaving Buddha: A Tibetan Monk's Encounter With the Living God (2019), Jesus In Iran (2015), and other books about the underground church in places like China, North Korea, and Iran.

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