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China opens to the Global South: The Church of England Newspaper, June 4, 2010 June 9, 2010

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

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) has opened relations with the Global South and declared a willingness to learn and share experiences with the growing Churches of the Anglican Communion.

While China’s state Protestant Church, the TSPM and the China Christian Council, will continue to forge ties with the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the areas of theological education, the leader of the TSPM has indicated his Church would like to pursue deeper ties with Asian and African Anglicans, with whom they share common cultural and moral values, as well as the problem of dealing with rapid church growth.

Cut off from missionary support by the Chinese Revolution, since 1949 the Church in China has grown rapidly and is believed to number over 100 million members in the official state Protestant and Catholic Churches as well as in the underground Catholic Church and in the Protestant House Church movement.

“I hope that the Chinese Church and the Anglican Global South can expand their cooperation,” said Elder Fu Xianwei, the general secretary of the national committee of the TSPM in an address to participants at the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore on April 22, and said the Church in China was ready to learn from their experiences.

The Church in China has been a topic of special interest for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited China in 2006 as a guest of the TSPM. The Rt Rev David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, told The Church of England Newspaper that he was “delighted that Elder Fu” was able to attend the Singapore gathering.

As Dr Williams’ point man for China he said he had witnessed a “developing friendship, dialogue and exchange of mutual concerns as the Church in China grows.” Chinese and British scholars have held two seminars at Lambeth Palace, he noted and a third is scheduled for 2011.

In an interview with AnglicanTV at the close of the conference, Elder Fu indicated the Chinese Church was moving away from its government-imposed isolation and seeking partners in mission.

He told AnglicanTV he attended the South to South conference becauseArchbishop John Chew told me that there were many Archbishops from African Churches coming here. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to share with the African bishops about our church ministries and how we run our Church.”

“Also, I want to learn something from the church leaders who attended this conference, through their good experience and good witness from spreading the gospel,” he said, adding that Africa and China were facing “similar issues, problems and challenges. We need to sit down to dialogue with each other to resolve these issues,” Elder Fu said.

The challenges of globalisation and urbanisation faced by the Global South Churches were live issues in China, he said. He came to Singapore “to get some useful and helpful message for me so that I can run the Chinese Church well. At the same time I would like the Archbishops and Bishops of Global South to gain awareness and to understand the situation of the Chinese Church.”

The move away from an Anglo-centric communion sought by the Global South leaders was also attractive to the Chinese Church. “Authority for the Chinese Church should be in the hands of the Chinese Christians and the Three – Self Principle is good for the development and growth of the Chinese Church. I have learnt from the African leaders the need for self-support and self-reliance,” he said.

“In the Bible, we can see that whenever Paul planted a church, he let the church be run by local elders, allowing them to be independent. From history we learn the lesson that only the local Christians can run a local church that is sustainable.”

The Church in China can help the Global South by “sharing how we run our Church, as we run it well. We can also share on how we do evangelism, and how we attract more and more people in China to come and hear the Gospel. This can be the contribution of the Chinese Church to the Church as a whole,” Elder Fu said.

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1. China opens to the Global South: The Church of England Newspaper … - Christian IBD - June 9, 2010

[…] While China’s state Protestant Church, the TSPM and the China Christian Council, will continue to forge ties with the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the areas of theological education, the leader of the TSPM has indicated … View full post on protestant – Google Blog Search […]


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