In the last a few days, U.S. Department of State convened the 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. On the meetings, American officials made groundless accusations and massive attacks on the religious policies and status of religious freedom in China. The Statement on China released on the meeting claimed that the Chinese government severely repress and discriminate religious believers.
The leadership of CCC&TSPM pointed out that it’s not surprising to know that the U.S. government once again politicize religious issues and use them to wantonly interfere in China’s internal affairs, nevertheless, it’s astonishing to see how it ignores the facts and distorts the truth.
Over the last decades, the Church in China has developed in light with the principles of independency and three-self, i.e. self-governing, self-propagation of the gospel, self-support. Efforts have been put continuously to deepen the Reconstruction of Theological Thinking and to promote the contextualization and indigenization of the church. Today, in China there are around 38 million Christians, 60,000 congregations, 15,000 ordained pastors and elders, 21,000 full time preachers and 190,000 lay leaders, etc.. There are 21 theological seminaries and colleges across the nation with a total number of 3,700 enrollments. A good number of training centers have been established in regions. Since the Reform and Opening, over 80 million copies of Bible have been published and distributed, including Bibles in ethnic and Braille languages. The teaching of “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” has been prevalent in the church. Church members are encouraged to be dedicated to such diaconal projects as medicare, elder care, kids’ nurseries, poverty alleviation, disability aid, education subsidy, disaster relief, construction of public facility and environmental protections with the intention of being blessings to the society.
As a part of the ecumenical community, the Church in China has been taking active part in the church life of global churches. It has developed and maintained friendly relations with churches in different countries and regions on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
Facts are more eloquent than arguments. All the achievements accomplished over the years are the awards of the hardworking Chinese Christians, however they also greatly benefit from the guarantee of the sincere implementation of the policy of freedom of religious belief by the Chinese government. The fact that the Church and Christians in China fully enjoy the freedom of religious belief accepts no denial.
Officials of the U.S. State Department, Embassy and Consulates have been visiting CCC&TSPM quite many times. Unfortunately, their optional blindness led to ignorance of the reality of the Church in China.
CCC&TSPM urges the U.S. government to stop using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs and to stop penetration campaigns. It hopes that the participants of the Ministerial would objectively comment religions in China whist exerting positive rather than negative forces to promote the Sino-America relations with the respect to facts and putting aside prejudices.