Three-Self Patriotic Movement

The Three-Self Patriotic Movement (officially _zh. 中国基督教三自爱国运动委员会, National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China; colloquially _zh. 三自教会, the Three-Self Church) or TSPM is the government-sanctioned ("patriotic") Christian organization in the People's Republic of China. Known in combination with the China Christian Council as the lianghui (two organizations), they form the only state-sanctioned (registered) Protestant church in mainland China. "(See also: Protestantism in China and Christianity in China.)"

History

The three principles of self-governance, self-support (i.e., financial independence from foreigners) and self-propagation (i.e., indigenous missionary work) were first articulated by Henry Venn, General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society from 1841–73, and Rufus Anderson, foreign secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions [Christianity Today Library: [http://ctlibrary.com/41452 Marking Time in the Middle Kingdom] , Madison Trammel (URL last accessed on May 1, 2007)] [Warren M (Ed.), To Apply the Gospel: Selections from the Writings of Henry Venn, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971] . The principles were drafted formally during an 1892 conference in Shanghai of Christian missions reflecting an almost unilateral agreement that the future of the Chinese church depended on the indigenization of the leadership, and the finding of sufficiently Chinese modes of worship [Grant, Paul: [http://www.strategicnetwork.org/index.php?loc=kb&view=v&id=8345&printerfriendly=Y&lang= The Three Self Church] , NSM, January 1, 2007 (URL last accessed on May 1, 2007)] . Dixon Edward Hoste, head of the China Inland Mission was known for putting the same principles into practice in the effort of assisting the Chinese to establish their own indigenous churches during the early 20th Century.

In 1951, a Cantonese Christian named Y. T. Wu ( _zh. 吴耀宗, 1893–1979) initiated the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which promoted a strategy of 'self-governance, self-support, and self-propagation' in order to remove foreign influences from the Chinese churches and to assure the communist government that the churches would be patriotic to the newly-established People's Republic of China. The 'Three-Self' is a characteristically Chinese way of abbreviating 'self-governance, self-support, self-propagation' ( _zh. 自治、自养、自传). The movement began formally in 1954 and allowed the government to infiltrate, subvert, and control much of organized Christianity [cite book | first = Patrick | last = Johnstone | authorlink = Patrick Johnstone | year = 2001 | title = Operation World | publisher = Paternoster | location = London p.164] .

From 1966 to 1976 during the Cultural Revolution, the expression of religious life in China was effectively banned, including even the TSPM. The growth of the Chinese house church movement during this period was a result of all Chinese Christian worship being driven underground for fear of persecution. To counter this growing trend of "unregistered meetings", in 1979 the government officially restored the TSPM after thirteen years of non-existence [cite book | first = Patrick | last = Johnstone | authorlink = Patrick Johnstone | year = 2001 | title = Operation World | publisher = Paternoster | location = London p.164] , and in 1980 the CCC was formed.

in 1993 there were 7 million members of the TSPM with 11 million affiliated, as opposed to an estimated 18 million and 47 million "unregistered" Protestant Christians respectively.

Doctrine

The TSPM is not a denomination, and denominational distinctions do not exist within the organization. Pastors are trained at one of only thirteen officially sanctioned seminaries [cite book | first = Patrick | last = Johnstone | authorlink = Patrick Johnstone | year = 2001 | title = Operation World | publisher = Paternoster | location = London p.164] which are Marxist-oriented and teach liberal theology [cite book | first = Patrick | last = Johnstone | authorlink = Patrick Johnstone | year = 2001 | title = Operation World | publisher = Paternoster | location = London p.165] .

The attempt to bring house-church Christians into the fold of "registered" meeting places has met with mixed results [cite book | first = Patrick | last = Johnstone | authorlink = Patrick Johnstone | year = 2001 | title = Operation World | publisher = Paternoster | location = London p.164] . One area of disagreement has been the restriction that the government places on preaching and teaching certain doctrines which are deemed to be inappropriate. Some examples of teaching that are not offered at the TSPM meetings include: references to the divine healing, deliverance from demons, Second Coming of Christ, and the resurrection of the dead.

However, restrictions are not always harshly enforced, and many pastors within the TSPM have the freedom to exposit Christian teachings more fully [cite book | first = Patrick | last = Johnstone | authorlink = Patrick Johnstone | year = 2001 | title = Operation World | publisher = Paternoster | location = London p.165] .

Controversy

The TSPM and CCC are viewed with suspicion and distrust by some Christians both within and outside China.Fact|date=June 2008 Some claim the TSPM to be a tool of the Communist Party of China to control and regulate the expression of Christianity [Grant, Paul: Ibid.] . As a result, there are groups that refuse to deal with the TSPM or CCC and there exists a large unregistered House Church movement in China with some claiming that it serves the large majority of Protestant Christians in China [24/7 Prayer: [http://www.24-7prayer.com/ow/country2.php?country_id=16#christians Statistics of Christians in China] (URL last accessed on May 1, 2007)] .

There has also been allegations of regular and systematic persecution against Christians associated with the House Church movement and other unregistered Christian organizations in China [Forum 18 Analyses: [http://www.forum18.org/Analyses.php?region=3 Reports from China] (URL last accessed on May 1, 2007)] .

Standing Committee of the TSPM

* Chairperson & Acting Secretary General: Presbyter Ji Jianhong

* Residential Vice Chairperson: Rev Deng Fucun

* Associate Secretary General: Rev Mei Kangjun

References

ee also

* Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association

External links

* [http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/30.68.html?start=1 a Christianity Today interview with Ji Jianhong, current head of the TSPM in 2004]
* [http://www.chineseprotestantchurch.org.cn/english/ Chinese Protestant Church]
* [http://www.amityfoundation.org/index.php Amity Foundation]
* [http://www.amitynewsservice.org/page.php?page=1233 TSPM Church Directory]
* [http://www.amitynewsservice.org/page.php?page=1150 FAQs about the Protestant Church in China]
* [http://www.churchinchina.com/ The Church in China]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) — The Chinese Christian Three Self Patriotic Movement (Zhongguo jidujiao sanzi aiguo yundong) is the full name of this organization, led by a National Committee in Shanghai. It counts its start from the signing and publication of the so called… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • three-self principles —    The three self principles were an early statement of the view that Protestant missions in non Christian countries should aim to be independent of the mother churches in Europe or the New World. This idea became the majority view in the second… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • patriotic covenants — are mandatory pledges of support for CCP rule by all of the patriotic religious organizations. The practice of signing patriotic covenants was inaugurated during the early 1950s in an attempt to rally popular support for the new regime. Numerous… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • Patriotic Union of Kurdistan — Infobox Political Party party name = Patriotic Union Of Kurdistan Yekîtiya Nîştimaniya Kurdistan یەکیتیا نیشتمانیا کوردستان الاتحاد الوطني کوردستان colorcode = #00A550 party leader = Jalal Talabani foundation = June 1, 1975 ideology = Kurdish… …   Wikipedia

  • Self-determination — This article is about self determination in international law. For other uses, see Self determination (disambiguation). Self determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association — Classification Catholic Polity Association Geographical areas People s Republic of China Founder State Administration for Religious Affairs Origin 1957 Further information: Roman Catholicism in China …   Wikipedia

  • Born Again Movement — See also: Born again (disambiguation) Christianity in China portal The Born Again Movement (B.A.M.) or Word of Life Church/Movement, or All Ranges Church or Total Scope Church of China is a Christian religious movement fou …   Wikipedia

  • Born Again Movement (China) — The Born Again Movement (B.A.M.) or All Ranges Church or Total Scope Church of China is a Christian religious movement founded by Peter Xu Yongze in 1968 during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, when all churches were officially closed by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaiian sovereignty movement — Part of a series on Hawaii Hawaiian sovereignty movement Main issues Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Legal status Opposition to the Overthrow Governments Kingdom Provisional Government Republi …   Wikipedia

  • Tea Party movement — This article is about the movement. For the protest events themselves, see Tea Party protests. For the U.S. Congressional caucus, see Tea Party Caucus …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.