China Christian Council
The China Christian Council (中国基督教协会) or CCC was founded in 1980 as an umbrella organization for all Protestant churches in the People's Republic of China with Bishop K. H. Ting (丁光訓, 1915–2012) as its president. It works to provide theological education and the publication of Bibles (the Chinese Union Version mostly), hymnals (the Chinese New Hymnal mostly), and other religious literature. It encourages the exchange of information among local churches in evangelism, pastoral work and administration. It has formulated a church order for local churches, and seeks to continue to develop friendly relations with churches overseas.
Together with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the organizations are known as the lianghui (两会), or "two organizations." Through the CCC, the registered Protestant church participates in the World Council of Churches. The CCC serves to unite and provide services for churches in China by formulating Church Order, encouraging theological education through seminaries and Bible schools, such as Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, publishing Bibles and other Christian materials, and coordinating training programs for churches.
The China Christian Council and the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (TSPM) together are often called the Lianghui (Two Organizations).
Christianity was introduced to China first by Nestorian priests in 635AD. Due to various historical, cultural, social and political reasons, Christianity did not take root in China. In the 19th century, Protestant Christianity was brought to China, but unfortunately it was associated with colonialism and was seen as a 'foreign religion'. Riots broke out in several areas throughout the country. The spread of the gospel is slow. During the 150 years from the introduction of Christianity in 1807 to the foundation of New China in 1949, there were only 700,000 believers.
In the 1950s, in order to change the image of Christianity as a foreign religion, Chinese Christians with a broad vision initiated the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The principle of self-governance, self-support and self-propagation quickly received a positive response from Chinese Christians. The first Chinese Christian national conference was held in Beijing in 1954. After that, the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China was set up. Its purpose was to unite and guide Chinese Christians to love the motherland, abide by the law, actively support and participate in the construction of socialism, adhere to independent efforts to the Chinese Christian church. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement not only promotes the Chinese Christian church to achieve self-governance, self-support and self-propagation, but also tries to make the church 'three-wells', that is, governing it well, supporting it well and propagating it well.
In the spring of 1979, Chinese churches resumed worship after the Cultural Revolution. In order to revive the church, the China Christian Council was founded at the third national Christian conference in 1980. It serves to unite and provide services for churches in China by following the Bible, formulating Church Order, and encouraging theological education.
In the recent 30 years, Christianity in China has developed rapidly. It introduces the best developing period in Chinese Christian history. Incomplete statistics indicate that there may be over 23 million Christians throughout the country, 30 times than in 1949. There may also be over 56,000 churches and meeting points, 70 percent of which are newly built. More than 55 million copies of the Bible have been printed, 3,500,000 copies per year in recent years. There are a total of 21 theological seminaries with more than 1900 students in China.
The highest authority of CCC/TSPM is the national congress. The meeting is hold every five years to review the work of CCC/TSPM, as well as to elect the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary General of the National Committee of the TSPM, and the President, Vice President, and General Secretary of the CCC. At present, the CCC/TSPM has 12 commissions and 7 departments.
CCC/TSPM endeavors to serve the construction of the church, lead Chinese Christians on the road to God, and encourage Christians to make contribution to economic and social development. CCC/TSPM seeks to establish and develop fellowship on the basis of mutual respect and equality, which is after all the best witness for the Christ.
The CCC/TSPM headquarters are No. 219, Jiujiang Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai (Post Code 200002).
The Ministry of Theological Renewal
Theological Education and Training Ministry
Social Service Ministry
Overseas Exchange Ministry
Overseas Relations Department
Training DepartmentPublication Department
Tian Feng Editorial Department
Social Service Department
Standing Committee of the CCC
- Rev Gao Feng
- Executive Associate General Secretary
- Rev. Kan Baoping
- Christianity in China
- Three-Self Patriotic Movement
- Chinese Union Version of the Bible
- Chinese New Hymnal
- Nanjing Union Theological Seminary
- The list of Chinese protestant theological seminary
References and further reading
- Bays, Daniel H. (2012). A New History of Christianity in China. Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781405159548.
- China Christian Council Home Page
- Main Churches and Theological Seminaries Under China Christian Council (in Chinese)
- The Amity Foundation (in Chinese and English)