China News Agency reported that Xu Xiaohong, chairman of the China Three-Self Church, threatened to eliminate the foreign influence on churches in China. The Three-Self Church is the full name of the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee. It is politically obedient to the political leadership of the Chinese government and its ruling party. It is not subject to the management and intervention of foreign churches. It implements “autonomy, self-support, and self-promotion” and is regarded as a “Christian church with Chinese Characteristics.”
According to the Sing Tao Daily report, Xu Xiaohong, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, spoke at the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference on March 11. In his speech, Xu emphasized the elimination of the “foreign flavor” of Chinese Christianity. He criticized (Christians in China) who “receive foreign infiltration and continue to have private gathering sites.” He said that “the Western anti-China forces have attempted to subvert the Chinese regime through Christianity and (we) firmly support the country in bringing them to justice.”
Xu Xiaohong later said in an interview with Sing Tao Daily that the Qiuyu Church in Chengdu, which was banned last year, is a church that the “anti-China forces” have influenced and that “there are more of those remaining” throughout China. According to the article, Xu Xiaohong said, “The anti-China forces in the West are attempting to continue to influence China’s social stability and even use Christianity to subvert China’s political power. It is doomed to fail. We firmly support the country to bring those to justice who use Christianity as a cover for their involvement in subverting national security.”
In December 2018, members of the Qiuyu Church in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, were arrested on a large scale. The pastor Wang Yi and his wife were accused of inciting subversion of state power. Their whereabouts are still unknown. Qiuyu Church is one of China’s well-known family churches. The Chinese government considers it illegal because it has not been officially registered.
According to statistics, more than half of China’s 60 million Protestants are worshiping in unregistered churches.
Source: China News Agency, March 12, 2019