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Primates back Chinese Christians: CEN 11.16.07 p 8. November 19, 2007

Posted by geoconger in China, Church of England Newspaper, Global South.

The Global South coalition of Primates has commended the work of the government-backed China Christian Council and the “Three Self Patriotic Movement”, saying China’s post-denominational protestant Church could serve as a model of Christianity in the developing world.

The Oct 30 statement “wholeheartedly commend” the Chinese government for its “openness and desire to extend sustainable support to the work of the church here.”  The primates noted with approval the “significant amendment” made by the 17th National Party Congress of the Community Party that “resolves to strengthen the work for the full implementation of the policy of freedom of religion in China.”

The creation by the Communist government of a “post-denominational institution with Chinese characteristics” was an “area where the churches in the Global South and the Church in China can work together so that the apostolicity and catholicity of the Church may be upheld,” the primates wrote.

Present at the Oct 25-30 meeting in Shanghai were Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Bernard Malango of Central Africa, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Archbishop Justice Akrofi of Wes Africa, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, Archbishop Fidèle Dirokpa of the Congo and Archbishop Francis Park of Korea.

While lauding the Communist government’s new openness to Christianity, the Global South primates remained quiet on the persecution of Chinese Christians outside of the approved denomination.  While no public statements were issue, conservative leaders in the US and Britain were taken aback by the Global South primates’ backing of the Communist regime and its silence over the country’s “House Churches,” home to the majority of China’s Christians.

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