Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Hong Kong Christians, A Threat To China

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Hong Kong Christians are being pressured to stop ministering in Mainland China. Several churches and parachurch ministries have had to curtail activities since the former British protectorate was absorbed into the Mainland in 1997. Church life in Hong Kong has been largely unaffected by the hand-over. Worshipers in hundreds of churches practice their faith freely and Christian publishers and book shops continue to print and distribute literature. No churches have been closed or threatened with closure. But Hong Kong ministries that have ties to Mainland China are under scrutiny. The first case involved Bridge magazine, which closed in December 1997. The editor said he was warned by Chinese officials after criticizing the Three Self Patriotic Movement, China's state-sanctioned Protestant church, and after publishing documents detailing persecution of unregistered house churches in China. Leaders of a large evangelical church in Hong Kong were refused entry to the Mainland recently. Officials reportedly confiscated their travel documents and deported the pastor. The church has provided money for relief work in China and helped rebuild several churches, reportedly with permission of the Three Self Patriotic Movement and government officials. At least three other Hong Kong churches said that mainland officials asked them to stop working in China. Parachurch ministries

also have been pressured. A book distributor reportedly dropped several publications from its list after a visit from an official of the Mainland's Religious Affairs Bureau. Another ministry ended its outreach to minority ethnic groups inside China. Hong Kong churches that don't evangelize or support mainland house churches are left alone. The Three Self churches and the Beijing government have made it clear that they will not meddle in the affairs of Hong Kong churches if they refrain from underground activity on the mainland. ( From Compass Direct News)

It appears that China is quite willing to reap the financial benefits from wealthy Hong Kong, but its Christians are a threat and may therefore not evangelize the mainland.

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