Three Self Church

China's Three Self Church

Three Self Church

Three Self ChurchThree Self churches are the 60,000 churches in China that belong to the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Three Self Patriotic Movement.

The three ‘Self’s are self-governance, self-support, self-propagation, and reject foreigners' influence on church leadership, foreign financing and foreign missionaries, respectively, while “Patriotic” reflects this church's loyalty to China.

The three rejections have kept the divisive Western denominationalism out of China and thus aren't necessarily bad on their own. What is bad is that the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) tries to restrict, control and twist Christianity to suit the Communist Party. Consider some of the rules governing the Three Self churches:

•  The Communist Party is the head of the church in China (Three Self churches report to the Three Self Patriotic Movement, which in turn reports to the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party).
•  The Communist Party decides how many people can be baptized per year.
•  The Communist Party has the final say on who can preach and what can be preached.
•  Preaching should focus on the social rules and the social benefits of Christianity.
•  Preaching about the resurrection of Jesus is forbidden.
•  Preaching about the second coming of Jesus is forbidden.
•  Preaching against religions that deny the deity of Jesus is forbidden.
•  Preaching that atheist Communist heroes went to hell is forbidden.
•  Preaching cannot deny that all good Communists go to heaven.
•  Preaching against abortion is forbidden.
•  Preachers can preach only at the Three Self church to which they are assigned.
•  Worshipping outside Three Self churches and official "meeting points" is forbidden.
•  Importing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
•  Printing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
•  Evangelizing or giving out tracts is forbidden.
•  Government officials cannot be Christian.
•  Police officers cannot be Christian.
•  Soldiers cannot be Christian.
•  Teachers cannot be Christian.
•  Children cannot become Christian.
•  Teenagers cannot become Christian.