China exerts control over underground Christians

Christianity in China is flourishing, with tens of millions of Christians openly worshiping. Many gather in private assemblies, or house churches, rather than in the official government church, known as the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The authorities have largely turned a blind eye in the past.

But when 230 Chinese Christians applied to leave China to attend a global evangelical gathering in Cape Town, South Africa, no more blind eye. The Lausanne Congress will begin October 16 without Chinese delegates. So far, at least 11 people planning to attend have been forbidden to leave China, and many others have come under pressure.

Some of those who have been turned back have had their passports confiscated. One delegate has been placed in detention. Several others have been prevented from leaving their homes. For months, across China, officials have been warning almost all the pastors invited not to attend, telling them the meeting was anti-China. For some, there have already been consequences.

The Rev. Xing Jingfu from Changsha, in Hunan, said authorities stopped his church from meeting and from preaching. He said they openly said it was because of the Lausanne Congress. If we meet again, they’ll arrest us, he said.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ma Zhaoxu, issued a statement to NPR. It accuses the Lausanne organizers of not issuing an official invitation to China’s state-controlled church and of having secret communications with Christians from private assemblies.

“This act has openly challenged China’s principle of an independent, autonomous, self-governing church. It is a flagrant interference in China’s religious affairs,” the statement said.

chinese police take their dogs to massChinese police are allowed to take their dogs to Mass

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Posted by on October 14, 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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4 Responses to China exerts control over underground Christians

  1. Cleanhippie

    October 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I am an advocate of religious freedom, but at the same time, I can see the reasoning behind China’s interference. All one has to do is look at the fundamentalism behind the three major abrahamic religions to see the danger those religions all pose. I am very conflicted about how I feel between religious freedom and preventing the spread of what I consider mass delusion and suspension of reality.

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  3. fourdinners

    October 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    ‘The Rev. Xing Jingfu’?…your kidding right? There’s a Reverend Xing Jingfu????

    I could get religion here…I really could!!!

    How do Chinese christians select hymns to sing?

    “We’ll have number 16 with egg flied lice”

    …ok…Dinners is now Chinesechristianophobic….

    I’m collecting ‘phobics’…;-)

  4. Meaghan Delton

    April 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    The foundation of Christian theology is expressed in the early ecumenical creeds which contain claims predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith. These professions state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was subsequently resurrected from the dead in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins.;