19 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/15/2004
china
An ancient church becomes home to two Protestant communities.

Shanghai (AsiaNews) – The 135-year old Holy Trinity church will be re-opened soon. For many years authorities have used it as a facility for government offices and as a movie theater. The agency Xinhua spread the news emphasizing how Chinese authorities grant religious freedom in the country. Before the end of the year the "red church" – named after the color of the bricks – will become home to two official Protestant communities. These are the National Committee of Three-Self (Self-administration, Self-supporting, Self-propagation) Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, and the China Christian Council.  

According to Ding Guangxun, chairman of the two committees, this is another act of the government finalised to favour religious freedom in the country. In truth, some analysts affirm that the re-opening of the church is just a move made by the government in order to control Christian activities. As a matter of fact, Beijing authorities are not comfortable with the increasing number of unofficial communities. Jia Qinglin, president of CPPCC, recently invited the Party to play a more active role in matter of religions. "The Party's committees should organise better their activity by instructing more officers about the religious situation in the country, so that they could help to solve the problems". According to Jia Qinglin, "central authorities should respect people's beliefs and instruct them to accept the leadership of the Party, to support socialism, and to help preserving the prosperity and unity of China".          Holy Trinity is the biggest church built in China by the English. It was originally built in 1847, but it was demolished after a short time as people believed the church was a source of "bad luck". The present church was built in 1869.

The re-opening of the church, as well as the official acknowledgment of two Protestant communities, serve to mitigate the persecution against some unregistered Evangelical leaders. Zhao Wenquan, activist of the independent Church of China, was held in prison for three weeks in May. He was charged with "disturbance of the social order" and with "organisation of illegal religious activities". On February 6th, Chen Jingmao – leader of the church of Southern China – was beaten up by prison guards who broke his legs. He was guilty of converting 50 detainees. Since 2001 Gong Shengliang has been held captive with the charge of practicing "evil cults" and of raping some girls of his community. These girls would have "admitted" the accusations were true after being tortured by the police. According to Shangai government Commission for ethnic and religious matters, there are more than 10 million Christians in the country. The unofficial statistics are very different. According to some Protestant organisations, in China there are 80 million Christians.      


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/06/2005 CHINA
Underground Protestant clergyman on trial
09/05/2005 CHINA
Underground Church priest arrested
09/01/2005 CHINA
More than 10,000 faithful attend the funeral of Mgr Xie, underground Bishop of Mingdong
06/15/2004 china
More than 100 independent Protestant church members arrested
04/20/2004 China
Convert inmates and prison guards will break your legs

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.