Christianity in China – Amity Press

We watched a video in church a week ago which claimed Christians were now able to worship freely in China. The video showed multi-million dollar churches built with government help, and a massive printing facility (Amity Press), producing bibles primarily for distribution within China.

This didn’t seem entirely correct, as it contradicts what we have been told for years regarding religious freedom within China.

It is hard to be sure about the accuracy of any information coming out of a communist country like China, but further investigation suggests:

  • Amity Press may be owned by the Communist government.
  • Amity Press only supplies bibles to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM, the official government-approved church of China, the big churches shown in the video).
  • House-church members who buy these bibles from TSPM bookstores may be tracked down and forced to join the TSPM. If they refuse they may be arrested, beaten or worse. I hear the house churches may call the Amity bibles poison-snake bibles.
  • TPSM pastors are only trained in government-approved seminaries, where they are taught Marxism and liberal theology.
  • The TPSM cannot teach some doctrines which the government considers unacceptable, including the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead (removing the heart of Christianity, see 1 Corinthians 15:12-14).
  • There appears to have been a crack-down on Christians in the lead-up to the Olympics.

It is hard to know the accuracy of the information I have just written. It is hard to know the accuracy of any information coming out of China. We need to be very careful not to just believe one source of information but actually read around and try to find the facts. This is extremely vital in this case as much of the money to set up Amity Press has been sent from the West.

If these accusations are correct, then the donations of Western Christians have been used to help persecute Christians in China. If these accusations are incorrect there is a lot of false information going around the place.

We know that China has no qualms about faking things in an Olympic opening ceremony (the singing young girl, the footprints, and the children from different ethnicities), and there are questions around their honesty in sport too. There is even more motivation for them to fake information about religious freedom. No Western Christian (like those producing the video we were shown) would be likely to deceive others about Christianity in China – all of us would be horrified about the way Christians are treated there. But the Communist party is perfectly capable of escorting visitors closely and ensuring they see just what the Party wishes them to see, and so fool both them and us.

We need to be very careful where we donate money, to be sure it is used for God’s work. But more importantly, we need to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in China and around the world. We are so free in this country that we become complacent, and forget how hard life is for Christians in other countries. We also need to pray for honesty in China.

For more information check out:

Billion Bibles

Voice of the Martyrs

Three Self Patriotic Movement on Wikipedia

New website

The Family Party has a new website!

  • More detailed policy
  • More candidates
  • Easy access to videos

Check it out!

Colmar Brunton Poll, August 2008

The minor party results for the Colmar Brunton Poll are as follows:

  • United Future              0.7%
  • ACT                             0.6%
  • The Family Party 0.3%
  • Christian Heritage       0.2%
  • Libertarianz                 0.2%
  • The Kiwi Party              0.1%
  • Progressives               0.1%

Key points: The Family Party is still steady at 0.3%, Kiwi is 0.1%, same as last month. The Family Party plus former Christian party votes (Christian Heritage and Destiny) is 0.5%, same as last month. United Future has picked up a few votes and ACT has dropped. Libertarianz and Progressives are registering now when they didn’t last month. This fluctuation illustrates the extremely high error associated with these low percentages.

The Family Party is the highest polling party outside of parliament, polling higher than Kiwi and Progressives, both of which have current MPs and therefore greater publicity by default. The percentage should pick up a bit before the election, once we start campaigning nationwide.

The other interesting point about this poll is that the Green party is at 3.5%, which if they don’t get an electorate seat (which they haven’t yet), would see them out of parliament. As much of the social policies we are against (such as the smacking law) were championed by the Greens, having them out of parliament would probably be positive for families, and probably wouldn’t be negative for the environment as their environmental policies aren’t always very practical anyway. If their votes continue to decline this could be a very interesting election result.

Court case against ETS

Labour is being challenged in court on the Emissions Trading Scheme. Mr Barry Walker is trying to prevent the government passing the ETS into law this year, because the evidence about global warming is so heavily disputed.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southlandtimes/4657622a6566.html

Good on him! We need an independant study into the science before emptying our wallets on this issue. The problem however is that Mr Walker is only taking Labour to court. Both Labour and National are proposing to put in place Emissions Trading Schemes. Even if Mr Walker is successful it will not prevent National putting one in place after the election like they are promising to do, although the case might make them pay more attention to the science.

The only way to prevent an ETS being put in place after the election is to ensure parties are in parliament that will oppose it and look into the science before spending more money. The only party promising to do this is The Family Party.

http://www.familyparty.org.nz/policy/environment