Three Self Church
Self churches are the 57,000+ churches in China that belong to the
Chinese Communist Party-controlled Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).
The three ‘Self’s are Self-governance, Self-support, Self-propagation,
and respectively reject foreigners' influence on the church leadership, foreign financing and foreign
missionaries, while “Patriotic” indicates the church's loyalty to China.
The three rejections have kept the divisive Western denominationalism out of China and thus aren't necessarily
bad on their own. What is bad is that the Three Self Patriotic Movement
tries to restrict, control and twist the Christianity of the Bible.
Consider some of the rules governing the Three Self churches:
• The Communist Party is the head of the church in China
(Three Self churches report to the Three
Self Patriotic Movement, which reports to the State
Administration for Religious Affairs, which is
controlled by the Chinese Communist Party).
• The Communist Party decides how many people can be baptized per year.
• The Communist Party has the final decision on who can preach and what can be preached.
• Preaching should focus on the social rules and the social benefits of Christianity.
• Preaching about resurrection and the second coming of Jesus is forbidden.
• Preaching against religions that deny the deity of Jesus is forbidden.
• Preaching that atheist communist heroes went to hell is forbidden; good communists go to heaven
• Preaching against abortion is forbidden.
• Gathering to worship outside Three Self churches and official "meeting points" is forbidden.
• Preachers cannot preach at a Three Self church other than the one to which they were assigned.
• Evangelizing or giving out tracts is forbidden.
• Importing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
• Printing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
• Government officials cannot be Christian.
• Teachers cannot be Christian.
• Soldiers cannot be Christian.
• Police officers cannot be Christian.
• Children and teenagers cannot be Christian.
(continued at Three Self Patriotic Movement)
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