Beijing Reiterates Control Over Religion in China-Vatican Deal Talks
By Mei Manuel, April 05, 2018 05:04 AM
A Chinese official states on Wednesday that no religion would be above the state, decreasing the posibility that China and the Vatican would be able to reach an accord regarding the appointment of bishops in the country.
In an interview with reporters during a religious affairs briefing, State Administration for Religious Affairs official Chen Zongrong said that China would not allow any foreign interference to influence the country's religious affairs and reiterates the government's desire to remain in control in the country's religious organizations.
According to the New York Times, Chen said "I think there is no religion in human society that is above the state."
He further adds, "Religion must adapt to the society it is in. If a religion is incompatible with its society, this religion cannot survive and develop."
Chen's comments indicates a possible roadblock in the current talks between China and the Vatican regarding Christianity in China, especially in the selection of bishops in the country. Recently, it was reported that the Vatican would be open to making concessions with Beijing, which includes asking two 'underground' bishops to step aside, in order to hae some influence in the bishop appointments in the country.
There is no official diplomatic ties between China and the Vatican since it was broken off in 1951 after the Communist took over. Catholic churches remain in China, but it is closely monitored by the government. The Vatican does not recognize the bishops selected by the Chinese government. The second sect of Catholics in China are the 'underground' Catholics who follow the Vatican.
Several attempts were done by both parties to try fixing their relations, but as the negotiations continue, some Chinese Catholics belonging to the 'underground' sect blasted the deal such as former Hong Kong bishop Cardinal Joseph Zen. Zen accused the Vatican of 'selling out' to the regime for pushing for the deal. He also blamed the pope's advisors for pushing the pontiff into the deal which 'comprimises without limits' and gains little in return.
Zen also criticized the Pope as he does not have a 'direct knowledge' regarding the Chinese Communist Party and its functions.
More from CCD
To tackle the aging issue and pastoring difficulties, Rev. Shan Weixiang gave three solutions.
November 18, 2018, saw the celebration of the 170th anniversary of Xinjie Church, which is located in the central area of the old district of Xiamen, Fujian, and well known as "the first Holy Church of China" for Sunday church service for Chinese in mainland China.
Founded in 2008,International Church of Shanghai held a grateful service to mark its 10th anniversary.
The Qingliu County CCC&TSPM of Sanming, Fujian, held celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Christianity into the county.
A post-80s female preacher witnessed how she was transformed from indifferent to God to faithful Christian soldier and talked about the difficulties facing young rural ministers.
Inheriting the basic doctrines of the CIM, the fundamentalist rural church only belongs to the past specific time and is incompatible with today's era.
Willy Peter’s devotion to his church, his solidarity and sense of duty in illness and adversity, the refusal to abandon the remnants of a church, remain the lasting testimony of his life.
CCC General Secretary: Don’t Focus on the Number of Chinese Christians, But Work to Build Healthy Churches
Rev. Kan Baoping responded that the church in mainland China had grown in the past decades, partly representing in the rise in the number of Christians, according to the CCC & the TSPM.
A new Cold War is approaching and the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) with its European Baptist Federation (EBF) are making their geopolitical preferences clear.
It's a true story that a rural church in central China gathered in a small house at first and moved to a larger one that was demolished due to some reasons.