Situation in China

Furthering Faith in the Far East

In China, any unauthorized religious meeting is deemed a criminal offence and anyone involved can be prosecuted. This forces many Christians underground.

For years the, officially atheist, Communist Party has tried to crush underground Protestant communities, either by forcing them to disband or by inducing them to join the Movement of Three Autonomies, the official state-sponsored organization for Chinese Protestants.

So while there are some official Christian organizations that are strictly controlled by government authorities. Numerous Chinese Christians worship in "house churches," which keeps them independent of the official organizations and government authorities. As a result of their underground faith, many Christians have been persecuted, arrested, or interrogated.

While WorldServe Ministries can attest that the Christian movement is sweeping the country, no one knows for sure how many Christians there are in this still officially atheist state. Some estimate China’s total Christian population to be from 75 to 130 million. While approximately 20 million are in the officially registered Three-Self government churches, the remaining majority of Chinese Christians worship in unregistered house churches.

WorldServe has been supporting church-planting, Bible distribution, and leadership training in China since the 1980s.