China has announced its plans to nationalize Christian theology, a move that is has many Christians concerned for the future.
Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs said, "The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China's national condition and integrate with Chinese culture.”
An article published in China’s state-run news website said that the national theology “will encourage more believers to make contributions to the country's harmonious social progress, cultural prosperity and economic development.”
Christian leaders believe that a nationalized theology would focus more on politics than religion. A Christian Solidarity Worldwide spokesman said, “The emphasis on believers' contribution to 'harmonious social progress' and the need for Christianity to 'adapt to China's national condition' echo past remarks on the role of religion in promoting social harmony and national unity.
"Although Wang did talk in more specific terms about the construction of Chinese Christian theology, it is difficult to predict what this will look like in practice. The main purpose, however, may be to remind Christians that their allegiance is to the country, and the Party, first."
China’s announcement of a national Christian theology comes in the wake of a government campaign which forcibly removed crosses from churches across the country.
Publication date: August 14, 2014