China Aid Association
transformation of the communist religious policy
like to have a brief introduction of the churches in China. As I have done the other day
earlier, I do not want repeat anything unnecessary. My introduction will be focused
on the transformation of the communist religious policy.
The transformation of the communist religious policy
government would like to try their best to convince the world that there is
real freedom of religion in China,
and all the religious believers enjoy real freedom of religion. But the reality
is not so optimistic. The reason is easy to understand. The communist Chinese
government does not want to see anybody to be converted into a theist.
Otherwise, with the increase of non-communists or religious believers, they
will come to lose their basis of the proletariat dictatorship.
the fundamental policy of the communist government is to wipe out all
religions, especially Christianity. They have never changed this decided goal
since the beginning. But they have really changed the tactics/stratagems mainly
for four times in the light of different periods and situations.
1. From the
“Liberation” (1949) to the end of the Cultural Revolution (1979), the
communists learned from the Soviet Union,
whose policy was to directly wipe out all the religions as soon as possible.
The CPC used to believe and announce that they had succeeded in the battle of
wiping out all the religions during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). In those
three decades, it was very dark to the churches and to the Christians and
2. From the
Reformation and opening (1982) to the Tiananmen Democratic Movement (1989), the
policy seemed to be most favourable to the churches and to the Christians.
According to “The No. 19 (1982) Document of the Central Committee of the
CPC“, churches and bible/theological institutes were allowed to reopen,
Christians were allowed to attend church worship and gatherings (either in
church or at home), and most of jailed pastors were released and resumed their
1989 to 2001, the policy became cruel again. If we recall the international
situation of that period, we can remember that, during 1989-1991, the Eastern
European Cataclysm happened, the powerful Soviet Union (a communist country with
seventy years’ history) and its follow communist regimes in East Europe collapsed
almost at one night. The Cataclysm
greatly shocked the CPC. In 1990, the CPC sent out a research team (from the Ministry of State Security) to
in order to learn the reason and lesson of the instant collapse of the former
communist regime. To their surprise, it was religion (to be precise, it was the
Roman Catholic Church) that leaded the revolution and resulted in the fall of
the communist ruling.
“The No.6 (1991) Document of the Central Committee of the CPC“
reads very severe to the churches and the Christians. For instance, it strictly
forbid all the CPC members, public servants, military and police force
officers, and minors/teenagers to become religious believers or attend any
religious activities; or it would be an offence. Obviously, the CPC had
regarded the religious issues as political and state security issues.
document also confirmed that all churches and religious organisations should be
under the control of the Party and the Government. (In China, any individual or
organization out of the authority’s control is counter-revolutionary.) From
then on, the Ministry of State Security and its branches were authorized
to be involved in religious affairs. Before that, only the United Front Working
Department of the Party, the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Public
Security Bureau were involved.
more, in early 1994, the State Council (the Central Government or the top
executive branch) issue The No. 114 (1994) Document, or “The
Regulations on Registration of Religious Activity Places“. Ever since
that, all those unregistered churches, either refused to registered or were
refused to be registered, were forced to stop activities. And from then on, the
churches separated into two categories: registered churches and unregistered
churches or house churches. All registered churches are members of the
Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee and China Christian Council as well.
after the “4.20 Tiananmen Falun Gong Demonstration Event” happened, the
communists set a new secrete intelligence agency, “The 6.10 Office”, listed
with other intelligence agencies, which is authorized to wipe out all illegal
4. From 2001
to present. On 10th December 2001, The People’s Republic of China
officially became a member of WTO (the World Trade Organization) after more
than fifteen year’s negotiation with the other members of the then GATT and the nowadays WTO. When the Chinese government
proclaimed that it was an significant symbol of further opening of the country
being a member of WTO, it has been world widely believed that ever since that
the country will be totally open to the outside world, including the opening of
ideology and religions.
fact is just on the contrary. On the same date of that event and the following
two days (10th-12th December 2001), the communist
authority held The National Religious Woking Conference for the first
time, a conference organized by both the central committee of the CPC and the State
Council, participated not only by those officials from the Party and the
Executive branch, but also by those from military, police, customs, and
intelligence agency services.
to the public report of that conference, the essential of the updated policy
for religions is to “resist the overseas/foreign infiltration“. Really,
it is the main point of the new policy. But few people know the details of the
new policy. This new policy internally warns all the Party members that the
development of the religions (principally referring to the Protestantism and
the Roman Catholicism) will lead to the collapse of the CPC ruling and control
Consequently, the new policy has limited the church expansion, and defined all
illegal religious groups as “evil cults”, which are subject to be immediately terminated
effect of the new policy, a good many of “illegal pastors”, self-claimed
pastors and “evil cults” have been persecuted. To be worst, some of those
“illegal pastors” were killed during their retaining in the public security
bureaus, and no one is permitted to accuse the police. No one can bring any
lawsuit concerning religions to a court. Moreover, foreign mission
personals could not escape from the persecution. Once they (foreign mission
personals) are arrested, they have been blacklisted and could no longer enter
the country. Rev Steven
Tang, the famous Indonesian
Reformed evangelist, is one of them and has experienced to be expelled from the
Beijing International Airport.
the second half of 2004, the first national religious law, The
Regulations on Religious Affairs were issued, which has been effective
since 1st March
2005. The Regulations’ key word is “to protecting the legal,
suppressing the illegal.” This key word means only those registered churches
could continue to exist and few new churches would be allowed to start.
Therefore, this law authorizes the executives to suppress all illegal religious
distinctive thing about the Regulations is that, for the first time, the
official document requests “any new planned churches must firstly apply for
joining the local TSPM committee before it could be eligible to apply though
the latter for governmental registration”. In other word, this code betrays the
fact that the TSPM is a government-controlled official organization; although
this fact has never been officially recognized till now.
As long as
the communist regime is controlling the suffering China, it will never change its
evil nature. Thus no one shall be cheated by the Satan’s dirty tricks,
including those policies and regulations and laws associated with religions.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]