Chinese government to impose own version of Christianity
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/8/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
China's government is officially atheistic as it openly fears that any religion will diminish its hold on its population. In response to widespread arrests and raids upon that nation's few Christian churches, the Chinese government will now impose its own official, sanctioned version of Christianity for its Catholic and Protestant minorities.
Experts estimate that there are as many as 12 million Catholics in China, split roughly evenly between the two churches.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chinese government is now constructing a "Chinese Christian theology" suitable for the nation, according to official state media.
With the number of the faithful clashing with authorities on the rise, China currently has between 23 million and 40 million Protestants, accounting for 1.7 to 2.9 percent of the total population.
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The Chinese government is now constructing a "Chinese Christian theology" suitable for the nation, according to official state media.
About half a million people are being baptized as Protestants every year, it added. "Over the past decades, the Protestant churches in China have developed very quickly with the implementation of the country's religious policy," Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, was quoted as saying.
"The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China's national condition and integrate with Chinese culture."
The new rules for Chinese faithful are stringent. It requires believers to worship in places approved by the state and under government supervision.
The new rules for Chinese faithful are stringent. It requires believers to worship in places approved by the state and under government supervision. Besides officially sanctioned churches, China also has "underground" or "house" churches that seek to exist outside government control and are occasionally raided and shut down.
Authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou, known as "China's Jerusalem" with more than a million Christians - demolished a church following government claims it was an illegal structure.
While a registered church, state media reported that the building was far larger than originally approved.
China had published 65 million copies of the Bible at the end of 2013, the report said, including minority language editions.
"Over the past years, China's Protestantism has become one of the fastest growing universal churches," Gao Feng, president of the China Christian Council says. It did not include a number for Catholics in China, who must also worship only in officially sanctioned churches that reject the Vatican's authority. Even here, however, an "underground" church loyal to the Holy See also exists.
Experts estimate that there are as many as 12 million Catholics in China, split roughly evenly between the two churches. China had published 65 million copies of the Bible at the end of 2013, the report said, including minority language editions.
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