Chinese Religious Policy 2017
February 10-18, 2017
Yorba Linda, CA
Word4Asia Consulting International was honored to co-host a delegation of 12 leaders representing the National CCC (Registered Protestant Church) and SARA (State Administration of Religious Affairs for two symposiums which were conducted in both Florida and Southern California last month.
The bulleted points which follow are a sincere attempt to share what was said in public-official forums by the CCC and SARA officials. They will be shared with a minimum of editorial comment. I will not attempt to defend or debate the data, positions or perspectives.
Any errors of content are that of the writer and could be the result of my poor listening skills or error in interpretation.
- The SARA department sent Mr. Ma who leads department 3, the Islamic department. Mr. Ma was clearly the “lead” person for SARA in these symposiums. This was an interesting choice as the other religious leaders in the delegation were all representing the Protestant churches in China.
- Mr. Ma’s (SARA) primary intention was to promote religious harmony. He pleaded for mutual understanding between faith groups to further social harmony. He shared that there is a concerted effort in China today to unite the five religions which are sanctioned in China into a single combined force that will assure peace within the country. These five sanctioned religions include Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, Taoism and Buddhism.
- The CCC is working to “Sinocize” (make more Chinese) Christianity in China. This is often translated as “localization.” This renewed emphasis strengthens the historic “Three Self Principle” which argues for the Chinese church to be self-governing, self-propagating and self-supporting. The registered church in China encourages their people to make friends and even participate in cross-cultural exchanges. Simultaneously, the objective is for the Chinese Church to be devoid of Western culture and thought.
- Elder Fu (TSPM chairman) indicated the church has reached a point of stability. After decades of fast, evangelistic effort, the present need is to deepen the education and leadership skills of Chinese pastors. Elder Fu reported that there are now 28 million baptized members in the CCC congregations.
- One leading Senior Pastor from Beijing shared that the churches have a commitment to both the centrality of Jesus as Savior and the Bible as their authority.
- One Provincial CCC leader reported that the number of converted Protestants in his province are now approaching a population which is twenty times larger than when China opened up. There are now over 2.4 million believers. In this province, the ratio of ordained pastors to members is 1:6,500.
- When asked about religious policies for children, a representative from the National CCC reported “there is absolutely no problem with religious education of children today, if it takes place within the church buildings.”
- When asked about religious broadcasting in China, Elder Fu explained that, as religionists of any sort are a vast minority in China today, it would not be wise to confuse and possibly alienate the wider public of China by promoting religion via radio or television broadcasts. This will not be happening.
For more detailed information and explanation you may contact Word4Asia Consulting International. Office: 714.769.9114.
To be continued…
Photos From the Recent Symposiums
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