Two-Thirds Of Chinese Christians Attend A House Church.
In China, house churches or family churches are Protestant assemblies in the People’s Republic of China that operate independently from the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and China Christian Council (CCC), and came into existence due to the change in religious policy after the end of the Cultural Revolution in the early-1980s. Some scholars prefer to use terms such as “unregistered church” to speak about the Protestant phenomenon, because these groups can reach several hundred and do not always literally meet in someone’s home. Others suggest the need to discard the “house church” vs. “TSPM church” dichotomy as there is a lot that blurs these divisions, including the relationship between the two groups themselves. Moreover, as a result of the rapid urbanisation of China since the 1990s, there has been a growing development within urban Christianity. Some congregations have preferred to self-identify as being part of a “third church” to differentiate from both traditional house churches and TSPM churches. House churches in China are generally considered illegal, yet smaller house churches of less than 25 members tend to be tolerated by the government. However, some have grown to a fairly large size, reaching 1,000 members at its height. House churches today still experience persecution, though the situation tends to differ depending on the region. House churches may choose to operate legally by joining the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). However, during the 1950s, the TSPM was often used by the government to oppress churches throughout China. While this legacy itself is problematic, joining the TSPM would also result in restrictions such as limiting the times and the locations for religious activities. Credit: Wikipedia.
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