China Plans to Export ‘Sinicized Christianity’ Internationally

July 10, 2023

The Chinese government is trying to transform Christianity into a tool of the state and is now planning to export this new form of Christianity worldwide. 

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“China Plans to Export ‘Sinicized Christianity’ Internationally,” by Zhang Chunhua, Bitter Winter, July 5, 2023:

Pastors of the Three-Self Church have understood for several years what a “Sinicized” religion is. “Sinicization” does not mean adopting a Chinese style, language, and aesthetics (in fact, the CCP is “Sinicizing” even a quintessential Chinese religion such as Taoism). It means adopting the style, language, of ideology of the CCP. Slowly but surely Three-Self churches are being transformed into ideological indoctrination centers for Xi-Jinping-style Communism, with the tiny veneer of Christianity becoming tinier every year and every day.

One of the most grandiose projects of Xi Jinping is promoting its brand of Communism throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. Chinese diplomacy and academia are mobilized to insist that “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” and “Xi Jinping Thought” work much better than Western-style democracy.

It seems that now the CCP believes that even its brands of “Sinicized” Protestant Christianity can be exported internationally. This was a key message of the “Training Meeting for Key Pastors of the Northeast China Christian Region” that was held from June 27 to 30 in Changchun, Jilin province. The conference was broadcast nationwide and covered by national Chinese media….

On the other hand, the conference indicated the “major task” for Three-Self Christians for the next years. In the words of Pastor Kan, it is to transform “the successful experience of the Sinicization of Christianity,” which he explicitly presented as “Christianity adapted to a Socialist society,” into “a great contribution made by Chinese Christianity to world Christianity.” “We will change the face of world Christianity,” Pastor Kan said to the thunderous applause of the regional Three-Self leaders in the audience.

Whether the “world Christianity” is ready to change its Christian face into one worshiping Communism and Xi Jinping is a question the conference did not really address. However, we should not believe the CCP is simply dreaming. After all, it managed to install Pastor Kan as a member of the Central Committee (a name the CCP surely likes) of Geneva’s World Council of Churches. One could only hope his colleagues there do not really understand what his function in China and ideas about “changing the face of world Christianity” are all about.