Allen Yuan

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Allen Yuan
Bengbu, Anhui Province
Died16 August 2005
EducationFar East Bible College
Partner(s)Huizhen Lily Liang

Allen Yuan Xiangchen (Chinese: 袁相忱; pinyin: Yuán Xiāngchén; 1914 – August 16, 2005) was a Chinese Protestant Christian pastor. He was acclaimed by Open Doors as "a towering figure in China's house church movement" and known for his resistance against participation in the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement, which resulted in imprisonment for more than twenty-one years.[1]


Yuan’s ministry began in 1946, one year after the Japanese surrender. He was assisted by a Norwegian missionary. Yuan opened a prayer room in Beijing so that he could preach.[2]

When the government set up the Three Self Patriotic Movement to organize churches under party control in 1950, a year after the communist revolution, Yuan and many other pastors refused to join. Along with Wang Ming-dao and Watchman Nee, in 1958 Yuan was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for "counter-revolutionary crimes."[3]

Voice of the Martyrs quoted him speaking about his imprisonment at Heilongjiang, Northeast of China:[4]

During those years in prison my wife suffered untold hardships in bringing up the children. I was sent to near the Russian border doing farm work, growing rice. Wang Ming Dao and I thought we would die martyrs there.

In the labor camp it was very cold, food was bad, and the work was hard, but in 22 years I never once got sick. I was thin and wore glasses, but I came back alive; many did not. I also had no Bible for the 22 years and there were no other Protestant Christians there. I met only four Catholic priests. They were in the same situation I was in; they refused to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

Yuan was released in 1979 and started his own house church at Miaoying Temple (also known as White Stupa Temple). The house church became one of the largest house churches during his era, with two to three hundred attendees.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He married Huizhen Lily Liang in 1938, and they had six children in total. He died on August 16, 2005 in Beijing, and some 2,500 mourners attended his funeral on Eight Treasure Mountain in Beijing.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Song, Christina (20 August 2005). "Rev. Allen Yuan, China's House Church Leader, Passed Away". Gospel Herald.
  2. ^ a b (25 August 2005). "Pastor Allen Yuan of the unofficial Protestant Church laid to rest". Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  3. ^ Doyle, G. Wright. "Allen Yuan". Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Allen Yuan Exchanges His Cross for a Crown". The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. 17 August 2005. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2017.