Lianghui

Lianghui

The lianghui (两会) or "two organizations" is a general term used in many occasions in present-day China, most notably the two organizations which make national-level political decisions: the National People's Congress (NCP) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Outside of China, the Christian (Protestant) Lianghui is known among those who are concerned with Protestant Christianity in China as the name attributed to the two government-sanctioned Protestant organizations in the People's Republic of China, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the China Christian Council (CCC). Due to the close relationship between the two organizations, they are often mistakenly believed to be the same organization. There is also the Catholic Lianghui.

Administrative structure

The public representation of the two associations was until recently usually carried out by K. H. Ting (丁光訓, 1915–), who was ordained an Anglican Bishop of Zhejiang in 1955, prior to the absorption of Protestant denominational churches into the TSPM.

The TSPM and CCC together form the constituent organizations of the National Conference of Chinese Protestant Churches. The distinctive roles of the TSPM and CCC are hard to distinguish due to overlaps but both organizations maintain separate Standing Committees.

The administrative structure of the lianghui is diagrammed as follows:

Ministries

The TSPM and CCC jointly administer the following ministries:

  • Social Service Ministry

Organizes resources both domestic and abroad, to plan and coordinate the activities of local churches to promote an active social welfare programs, disaster relief programs, and emergency relief work.

  • Publication Ministry

Coordinates the editing, publication and distribution of books, audio and video materials, Bibles and hymnals. Also sets guidelines for the publication of materials by local TSPM committees and Church councils.

  • Ministry of Reconstruction of Theological Thinking

Researches main trends of Churches overseas, major themes involved in Reconstruction of Theological Thinking, and issues concerning church development in China.

  • Education and Training Ministry

Supervises and coordinates issues relating to educational guidelines for Theological Seminaries and Bible Colleges in China, organizes overseas study program for theological graduates, supports lay training programs, and organizes training programs in specialised fields.

  • Overseas Relations Ministry

Supervised and coordinates the establishment and development of relationships between Chinese churches and overseas churches through regular mutual visits and exchanges on the basis of mutual respect, and equality.

Number of Christians

There are large numbers of Chinese house churches in China which are outside of the registered organizations.

Together, the TSPM and CCC claims a total of between 9.8 million to 13.5 million Protestant Christians in China.

Controversy

The TSPM and CCC are viewed with suspicion and distrust by some Christians both within and outside China. Some claim the TSPM to be a tool of the Communist Party of China to control and regulate the expression of Christianity. As a result, many groups refuse to deal with the TSPM or CCC and there exists a large unregistered House Church movement in China with some claiming that it serves the large majority of Protestant Christians in China.

There are allegations of regular and systematic persecution against Christians associated with the House Church movement and other unregistered Christian organizations in China.

References

See also

External links

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