Three Self Patriotic Movement

China's Three Self Patriotic Movement

Three Self Patriotic Movement

Three Self Patriotic Movement(continued from Three Self Church)

What is the aim of China's Three Self Patriotic Movement?

Its aim is given by its name: "Patriotic Movement." The Three Self Patriotic Movement is a political program to keep Chinese Christians patriotic, which in China means loyal to the Chinese Communist Party rather than to China.

To accomplish this, the Chinese government uses the Three Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council to try to keep a lid on the True Gospel and bury it under a set of social rules that serve the Party's interests while keeping Christians out of key segments of the Chinese society (see Three Self church).

The political intent of the Three Self Patriotic Movement was explicitly declared in 1950 in the "Basic Principles" section of its founding manifesto, The Path of China's Christianity in the Construction of a New China:

"China’s Christian churches and organizations should be based on best efforts and effective ways to teach the people to clearly understand the evils left in China by the imperialists and the reality of the imperialists exploitation of Christianity in the past. They should eliminate imperialist influences on Christianity and be on alert against imperialism, especially the U.S. imperialists using religion to cultivate reactionary forces. The congregants also should be called upon to join the anti-war peace movement and be educated until they thoroughly understand and support the government’s land reform policy. China’s Christian churches and organizations should adopt effective ways to train believers to have a patriotic and democratic spirit, self-respect and self-confidence. The self-governance, self-support and self-propagation advocated by China's Christianity in the past have already achieved considerable results. From now on, this task should be accomplished as quickly as possible while promoting self-criticism and reviewing the implementation of a variety of finishing tasks to streamline savings in order to achieve the goal of Christian reform." - The People's Daily, front page, September 23, 1950.

Does that mean the Gospel is not preached in Three Self churches?

It depends on the Three Self church in China. At those led by "pastors" who are no more than Party operatives, the Gospel is not preached. At those led by pastors who get saved while studying the Bible on their own after their seminary years, the True Gospel is preached until the Party silences or removes the pastor.

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