Chinese Christian Pop Star Boldly Displays Her Faith On Social Media and New Album, ‘Revelation’

Photo from Alejandro Luengo via Unsplash

Chinese Christian Pop Star Boldly Displays Her Faith On Social Media and New Album, ‘Revelation’

By Movieguide® Staff

Christian singer G.E.M., whose Chinese name is 邓紫棋 (Deng Ziqi), recently released a new 14-track album called ‘Revelation’ that reflects her faith despite living in China.

One track, called “Gloria,” references her real English name given to her by her father.

The music video for her new song, Gloria, reflects her spiritual encounter that inspired the song.

Christianity Today reported:

Deng said that she hopes the visual effects of the music video will create an “immersive experience for the audience as they walk with me through those moments of pain, despair, and redemption.” She said that the inspiration for the entire Revelation album came from a supernatural experience she encountered. One day, overwhelmed by sadness, she was crying and praying in the bathroom. When she began humming a melody unconsciously in the shower, she began to feel it bringing her peace, transcending her circumstances.

The inspiration for an album emerged: She wanted to use her new song to speak of her struggles, heartbreaks, and prayers, and to remember how God answered prayers to redeem and bless her.

In 2014, Deng found success in the entertainment industry in mainland China in the singing competition called “I Am a Singer 2.” After her appearance in the show, Deng became an instant hit in China, and was the first Chinese-speaking singer who music videos surpassed 200 million views on YouTube.

However, China’s political tension between Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) puts anyone in the limelight at risk of ridicule and even persecution.

In 2014, Chinese officials put Deng on a list of “strictly controlled” persons because she prayed for Hong Kong during the Occupy Central movement. However, many on the side of Hong Kong and pro-democracy accused the singer supported the Chinese government.

Despite the pain of that hostility from her people, Deng said that she finds her hope, peace, and confidence in God and God alone.

“I gradually learned that the result is not the most important thing because whether it’s a failure or a success, I would gain experiences either way,” Deng said. “I think everyone is a walking witness to other people.”

Deng is vocal about her faith through the subtle messages in her songs and her prayers and posts on social media.

Chicago-based pastor Jiang Shaolong said Deng took a significant risk in her public proclamation of faith.

“There are commercial and political risks in today’s China for a Christian artist to testify her faith publicly.” Jiang said in a livestream. “Although Deng has participated in a wide variety of popular TV shows that can reach hundreds of millions of audiences, it is impossible for her to be given any opportunity to openly witness her Christian faith on those shows. She knew that expressing her Christian faith in the song may cause her to lose fans or be critically attacked, but she was determined to speak out using her music.”

While Deng does not explicitly mention God or the Bible in her new album, her bold faith is a rarity for pop stars in mainland China.

Kris Wang, elder of the Lansing Chinese Church, told CT: “It is very rare to see in the Chinese pop music industry that a singer would disclose her faith in songs and to generate ideas from the Bible for the entire album. There are examples in the United States that songwriters integrate their faith into pop music, like Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and DMX have done. But in atheism-dominated China, doing so is innovative and creative.”

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