Excerpts from Changing China

Controlling the "Church" in China

Skip down to Three Self Patriotic Movement [TSPM]

by Berit Kjos, 2000



Olympics 2008


House Churches Deeply Disappointed in Brother Bush's Visit to the TSPM

Chinese leaders justify their steps toward "consensus" as a reasonable price for "peace" and "unity."  So do their international sympathizers. As a result, facilitated dialectic groups -- used by Chinese Communists fifty years ago to brainwash the masses -- are now used by corporations, community groups and schools to squeeze all nations into the global mold.  While China may be taking some lessons in capitalism from America, worldwide vision of social solidarity looks far more like the Communist East than the free West.


1. SILENCE All OPPOSITION: "The mainland's education ministry and the Communist Party's ideology watchdog have jointly launched a campaign to clamp down on the 'spreading of Western ideas' in university classrooms," wrote Cary Huang, in the Hong Kong Standard. While "clamps on academic freedom had been rare in recent years," this last year brought the "revival of a hard-line propaganda campaign against Western ideologies by official media."[1] Party leaders are warning teachers, firing questionable professors, censoring news, and imprisoning leaders of unregistered churches. Those who complain risk their jobs, their freedom, their families and their lives. 


"Self-Criticism" -- like the consensus process -- has been part of Soviet and Chinese brainwashing since the fifties.  As part of an ongoing process, such forced "confessions" serve to keep captives humble, submitted to their mentors, and increasingly pliable in the hands of Communist managers. 


2. RE-SETTLE THE MASSES. China's impressive effort to move and house its people in ever-expanding communities of high-rise apartments and condominiums has won the applause of the United Nations.  During the 1996 UN Conference on Human  Settlements ( Habitat II) in Istanbul, Chinese housing projects and planned communities occupied the vast center of a cavernous hall used for a "Best Practices" exhibition. Displays from the rest of the world merely shared the outer perimeter.  Today, similar controlled settlements, replete with common halls and recreation areas for group interaction and consensus-building, have sprouted like grass around the world, suggesting the demise of individualism as well as the private home. (See The U.N. Plan for Your Community)


3. WEAKEN THE FAMILY.  Few nations honored the family more than pre-Communist China. The Confucian ethic pressed the people into centuries of strict family loyalties, ancestral worship, and elaborate rituals.  With the spread of Communism, the family was forced to  change. "To redirect loyalties, China’s recent leaders created channels of mobility less subject to family control and reorganized communities to make them more responsible to outside pressures."[3]  Government day care centers, schools, and youth corps replaced  the family as the vehicle for teaching values and transmitting beliefs. (See The Nazi Model For Outcome-Based Education)



4. TRANSFER LOYALTY TO PEER GROUP AND COMMUNITY.  Continuing their quest to "free" children from parental values and family traditions, the Communist government forced everyone into "small groups for political study and criticism." According to The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China, these discussion groups "encouraged the individual to develop a separate identity from the family....  By transferring function from the family to the community (the production team or the neighborhood committee) and by denouncing the negative aspects of individualism, the Chinese Communist Party sought to promote the socialist ideal of collectivity.”[4]


5. INDOCTRINATE EVERYONE WITH THE "RIGHT" IDEOLOGY.  Compare the following quotations from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China  with the Cuban education system and with the changes taking place in education throughout the "free" world.

6. CONTROL INDIVIDUALS IN COMMUNITY GROUPS.  Early in their history, Chinese communists imported Soviet methods for controlling its people in "work units." The production team, which shared communal housing, became the "collective focus."[6] It provided the basic needs and kept close watch on all its members. But over the years, its nature changed and its power decreased. Apparently, a different kind of surveillance is now on the rise. A recent article in the New York Times International gave this update: 

 “The old ‘neighborhood committees’ that watched over every household are among the more obnoxious memories of the early decades of Communist rule. Staffed… by one’s nosiest neighbors, the committees were empowered to scrutinize every visitor, report every antisocial activity and even monitor pregnancies….  “With the decline of Marxist fervor… the committees waned…. Now, with experiments in Shenyang and 19 other cities, the government is trying to reinvent this venerable institution."[7]

Persecution in China. Today, as many as 50-100 million Christians are meeting "illegally in private homes, fields and even caves, defying a government ban on such gatherings," according to World Christian Broadcasting. They risk their lives to worship God outside the boundaries of the government-controlled "Three Self Patriotic Movement" churches. These brave men and women serve a higher authority and have chosen to affirm the words of the apostle Peter, "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29) Their lives demonstrate a perseverance, joy and peace in Christ that defies comprehension but proves the irrepressible power of God's unchanging gospel in today's fast-changing world.    

For recent examples see Persecution.


This list shows the main characteristics of the TSPM. For more information please visit the website that provided this list at www.2008olympicsbeijing.org/threeselfpatrioticmovement-tspm.htm

• The Communist Party decides who can preach.
• The Communist Party decides what can be preached.
• Preaching should focus on the social rules and the social benefits of Christianity.
• Preaching outside government monitored Three Self Patriotic Movement church buildings is forbidden.
• Evangelizing is forbidden.
• Giving out tracts is forbidden.
• Importing bibles is forbidden.
• Printing bibles is forbidden.
• Giving bibles to children or teenagers is forbidden.
• Government officials cannot be Christian.
• Soldiers cannot be Christian.
• Police officers cannot be Christian.
• Teachers cannot be Christian.
• Children or teenagers cannot be Christian.

Lessons from the persecuted Church.  While the world unites in a common quest for an anti-Christian solidarity, Christians can rejoice in a spiritual unity that no government can sever. Those who are "born again" into God's family share one Father, one Shepherd, one Hope, and one eternal Kingdom. But the light of that Hope tends to shine far brighter in a Chinese prison cell than in an American city where all kinds of distracting lights dim our eyes to the glory of God.   


God's Word calls us to stand together in love -- helping, encouraging, teaching, and praying for each other. Oceans and other physical barriers are no excuse.  Please consider some the ways we can cross those barriers:

"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:10-12


Communist Totalitarianism





Human worth depends on conformity to the system 

The persecution of Christians, the cruel work camps,  the Tiananmen  massacre, etc.

Cubans that attempt escape face heartless government slaughter or torturous imprisonment. (See Elian's Future in a Totalitarian State)

Merciless slaughter of Chechnya, torture and rape of prisoners.

Education based on Communist ideology  

Used Soviet brainwashing strategies, including Hegelian dialectic (consensus) process. See quotations below.

Schools and society must build "Communist personality" using Soviet education strategies and totalitarian controls.

Soviet system:  State management of the lifelong learning process with focus on ideology, group thinking & labor skills for planned economy 

Hatred for the Bible

The state permits Bibles to be printed in Nanking for the registered "Three-Self" churches, but relatively few reach members of the "illegal" house churches. 

See Thousands of Bibles burned in Cuba

 Countless Christians have risked their lives to smuggle Bibles into or within the former Soviet Union.

Humans managed in  groups or teams

"Meetings were being held in vacant rooms and open spaces wherever a group could gather to discuss, self-criticize, and confess." Brainwashing by Edward Hunter, page 51.

Soviet-Cuban  education means group learning. That's why Elian's friends had to come  to the U.S.  

The Hegelian Dialectic (consensus) process is the heart of Communist "education."

1. Cary Huang, "Western Ideas Silenced in Class," Hong Kong Standard, May 15, 2000. 

2. The International Herald Tribune, May 20, 2000.

3. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China, Brian Hook, Editor (New York: Cambridge University), page 92)

4. Ibid., page 92-93.

5. Ibid., page 117.

6. Ibid., page 100.

7. Eric Eckholm, "China's Neighborly Snoops Reinvent Themselves," The New York Times International, April 11, 2000.

8. Vishinsky (Encyclopedia Britannica)

9. Tom White, "Baptism--Sentiment or Sacrifice?" Voice of the Martyrs (February 1999), page 4-5. 

10. To contact The Voice of the Martyrs, make a donation, or request their magazine write the office at P.O. Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005, or visit the website at The Voice of the Martyrs. Phone: 918-337-8015  E-mail: Email: thevoice@vom-usa.org

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