cor-lwh.gif (62 bytes) Sanctioned State Church in China - The "Boomerang Question" cor-rwh.gif (63 bytes)
| Home | Articles | Resources | Persecution | Links | Contact |
The question just keeps coming back - whenever anybody mentions that there may be any kind of persecution of Christians going on in China. This is becoming a very tired question that we have to answer and explain over and over again, whenever this subject comes up. We would like to make it easier for our readers, friends, supporters, and an occasional enemy as well, to understand how this deception works.

One of the main objections that keeps coming up against any claim to the hardships being experienced by the evangelical, hard-core, Bible-believing churches in China is that "...but there are churches in China and nobody is persecuting the churchgoers!". True, but not completely. It is not enough to present one or two cases to prove our point (and throw out all the other cases that contradict our view, in the process). To be fair, one would have to actually deal with the claims in the first place; are they true, or are they contrived?

We will try to explain in our article that, regardless of the veracity, or validity, of the claims of Christian persecution in China, presenting a few cases for the existence of the said physical buildings, called "churches", doesn't make a case for anything. Call it an "indirect denial" if you will.

First, lets find out what these buildings are and what is their real purpose...


This beautiful Catholic church was restored and opened in  2000, in the very heart of Beijing, right where all the visiting tourists can see it...


There are two major physical churches in existence in Beijing, that we are aware of, and they are clearly a showcase for the consumption of the Western tourists and the media. One of them is Catholic, the other one is a Protestant church (that takes care of the two major branches of Christianity in existance, right?). 

The Protestant, Chong Wen Men Church, however not very visible to the average tourist, is located in the central section of the city and is visited by many Christians from the West. They even have a translating service, so that the visitors can don on a set of infrared headphones and listen to the sermon in English. The church is open on Sundays for two services, 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM. 

The Catholic church is located right next to one of the best of the capital's hotels, Tianlun Dynasty Hotel. This is as central and visible in Beijing as one can dream of. Any tourist who wants to take a stroll along Wang Fu Jing Street (known for its stores, shopping malls, cafe's, street food fares and other attractions), has to pass by this picturesque old church. The services are held there in the early morning hours and the place is shut close for the rest of the day. For most of the day, the square in front of the church is populated by the visitors to Beijing, people who cannot find a better place to eat their lunch, beggars and, probably most visibly, kids roller-skating, rollerblading, riding their bikes, skateboards, playing games, etc. This place is also popular as the backdrop for couples taking their wedding pictures.
The church, as well as the square, are nicely lit in the evening. Everything is kept clean, neat and trim.


On any service day, both of these churches are pack-filled with people. Many stand outside and listen to the message there. That is less than one thousand people (combined) that have a chance to attend these two churches on Sunday mornings. There is fourteen million people living in Beijing, with about ten million living in the city itself. Even if there are other registered, state-controlled, churches in operation in Beijing, this is really a drop in a bucket. 

A word about the operation of these churches is needed for the casual reader. Any visible church (or any group of people that want to meet together for any reason) has to register with the government. Thus, these churches are - defacto - state-controlled and state-run churches. Their sermons and their activities have to be approved by the "censorship office" (whatever the proper name of this body is). Major Christian doctrines are censored out and not allowed on the "spiritual menu" of the official churches - being these two, or any state-controlled church. Teaching about the Second Coming of Christ, or the Sovereignty of God are a big "no no". 

Surely, any usurper wants to push away the notion of the day of reckoning... They don't want to hear about any accountability to a higher authority (namely, God), and  don't want others to hear this kind of a message. This is certainly true about many governments today, but this is a subject we won't be going into this time.


An excerpt from the plaque in front of the Wangfujing Cathedral:

"Wangfujing Cathedral (St. Joseph's Cathedral) [...] 
In 2000, the cathedral was restored, and the front entrance square rebuilt with Beijing Municipal Government's funding."

The Chinese government actually rebuilt this church, while churches in villages and smaller towns are being bulldozed.

There are Western Christian organizations and ministries that assert that there is no need for Christians in China to stay "underground" (sometimes literally!), that they should register with the government (and live happily ever after). Well, when they do that, they pledge their allegiance to the State, instead of God. Too many Chinese Christians have learned this principle the hard way, or otherwise knew it beforehand, to fall for this. 

There are really only two choices:

1. It is true that there is nothing wrong with the state of affairs concerning the Christian Church in China. There is no need for printing of (independent, uncensored) Christian literature and Bibles in China and bringing them from abroad. This is the voice coming from all the centralized bodies; be it governments, major media outlets, big (official, registered) Western Christian organizations working in China.

2. There are serious problems, as far as treatment of the Chinese (unregistered) believers by the Chinese Government goes. That includes imprisonment, torture, extortion fines, intimidation, confiscation of possession, denial of rights and access to attorneys, and more. This comes from smaller to mid-size ministries, individuals and human rights organizations; bodies that have no purpose or gain in making up stories about the situation of the Christian believers in China and don't need, or are not pursuing obtaining of, any kind of license to operate in China.

To state that there is no problem with this situation, is to claim to be able to dismiss the thousands of claims of abuse and persecution of Christians in China by their government. Many of the cases are well-documented; including pictures, witnesses, and written and signed testimonies.

We are still waiting for any of the Western organizations approaching the house church members and rebuking them for "spreading rumors" about them being persecuted, or experiencing any kind of hardships from the Chinese authorities; the courts, the police, etc.

One side must be lying or be grossly misinformed...

We are planning on adding more information to this article in the future...


R-Kiver / August 2003 / Posted: Sept. 2003 / Last revs/adds: 12.2003 
| Home | Articles | Resources | Persecution | Links | Contact |
cor-blwh.gif (63 bytes)

|| ©   1999-2013 ||

cor-brwh.gif (63 bytes)