The Equivocal Relationship Between the Chinese House Churches and the Chinese Government
By Ya Wei, Voice of America
Last December, the house church leaders in China held a conference in Beijing.According to the person in charge, the conference was not officially supported by the Chinese government as some have assumed.The relationship between the Chinese house churches and the Chinese government remains equivocal.A few international media sources,including The Times,reported that the Chinese officials and leaders of the Chinese house churches secretly met with each other last year in Beijing, which marked the first significant step towards reconciliation in decades.It was reported that the two parties joined together as negotiators instead of opponents. It was also said that the meeting was at a crucial time because this year is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the P.R.C.,and the Chinese government desires a national celebration without any disturbance.The Times reported on the rapid increase of the Chinese Christian population in recent years.The Chinese officials privately estimate there are about 130,000,000 Christians in China, many of whom belong to the house churches.The number of Christians in China far exceeds the population of the Communist Party members (Currently there are 74,000,000 Communist Party members).The church leaders believe that this is one of the reasons why the official Chinese think tank-Research Center of the State Council-summoned two breakthrough conferences in late 2008.It was reported that the majority of those who attended the first conference were academics and lawyers, many of whom are house church members; the second conference brought together six house church leaders.
NGOs Arrange House Church Research Conference
To read more go to: