Y. T. Wu

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Wu Yao-tsung (simplified Chinese: 吴耀宗; traditional Chinese: 吳耀宗; pinyin: Wú Yaòzōng) (1893–1979), a Christian leader in China. Wu played a "leading role in founding the Three-Self Patriotic Movement".[1] Wu also played an important role in the theology of K. H. Ting.[2]

His life[edit]

Wu was born in Guangzhou in 4 November 1893 to a family engaged in commerce. Beginning in 1913, he studied tax at a school for tax studies in Beijing and, upon graduation, worked for a customs office.[3]

Wu converted to Christianity in his youth. In 1918, he became a member of a Congregational Church and was baptized. In 1924, he worked for YMCA, managing its schools and then went to the United States to study at Union Theological Seminary (affiliated with the Columbia University) at New York City, from which he earned a master's degree in philosophy.

Wu became a proponent of the social gospel and emphasized the ethical teachings of Jesus rather than the supernaturally oriented theology. He had been a YMCA secretary, author, and editor of a Christian magazine before the communist revolution in China was complete.

Wu was regarded as one of the earliest to reflect on the use of "violence in revolution and theological implications of communism" among Chinese Christian leaders. He was critical of the use of force by Chinese communists and considered himself a pacifist and did not want to join the communist party.[1]

In response to a call from, and in consultation with Premier Zhou Enlai he published the "Christian Manifesto", eventually signed by 400,000 signatories, that launched the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. He was a dominant figure in the movement [4] until the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1977, during which he was put to forced labor.

Wu died in Beijing in 1979, one year before the Three-Self Patriotic Movement was re-established and the China Christian Council, with Bishop K.H. Ting at its head, was formerly established.


  1. ^ a b The Blackwell encyclopedia of modern Christian thought by Alister E. McGrath; Wiley Blackwell
  2. ^ Ng, Lee-ming (1972). "A Study of Y. T. Wu". Ching Feng XV (1): 5–54. 
  3. ^ Wu Yaozong (Baidu Encyclopedia) (Chinese) (including his picture)
  4. ^ Dunch, Ryan (Spring 2008). "Worshiping under the Communist eye". Christian History & Biography (98): 14–18. 

See also[edit]