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George Kaufelt Harris

1887 ~ 1962

Harris was born in Winona, Minnesota. After studying at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, he joined the China Inland Mission in 1916 and was stationed in the northwestern and largely Muslim province of Xining. In 1917 Samuel Zwemer visited China, encouraging mission work among Chinese Muslims. As a result of Zwemer's visit, Harris became one of the few China missionaries to develop interest in Islam and in the evangelization of Muslims.

Between 1925 and 1946 he contributed several articles to the Moslem World. In 1927 he cofounded the Society of Friends of Moslems in China. In 1946, he wrote How to Lead Moslems to Christ, with a foreword by Zwemer. Intended as a manual for China missionaries, this book drew on the conciliatory approach of Lewis Bevan Jones. One of Harris's major concerns was the production of literature appropriate for China. Rejecting controversy, he aimed to communicate the gospel so that it could take root in the cultural milieu of Chinese Islam. In one Moslem World article, he wrote about secret Christians in Tibet who were "outwardly still Mohammedans." He also translated works by Lilias Trotter into Chinese.

About the Author

By Clinton Bennett

Lecturer in Islamic Studies and Anthropological Theology, Westminster College, Oxford, England

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