House Churches in China
by Paul Wong
“Among many Sabbatarian groups, there has been much interest and discussion about Sabbath-keepers in Communist China. The following is the second humaninterest article from Paul Wong, a minister in the True Jesus Church, which is a Pentecostal Sabbatarian denomination. He gives us a brief glimpse of the lives and beliefs of the Sabbatarians of China…. —Ed. §
The house church originated in Jerusalem when Christianity was at its infancy. Right from apostolic times, the gospel has spread not only through preaching at public places, but also through meetings in believer’s homes. After Pentecost, the disciples met in homes and broke bread “from house to house” (Acts 2:46). The apostle Paul wrote to the disciples in Rome to greet Priscilla and Aquila and also “the church that is in their house” (Romans. 16:3-5). House churches have been in operation throughout the centuries.
Generally there are two types of Christian churches in China. The first type consists of Chinese government approved institutionalized churches that are organized by the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). Normally these churches are also members of the China Christian Council (CCC). The second type consists of house churches that are also known as “underground churches.” These house churches operate illegally, that is, without the sanction of the Chinese government.
Before the Communist takeover of China in 1949 there were three indigenous movements that worshiped in house churches. They are the True Jesus Church, the Jesus Family and the Little Flock. Of the three only the True Jesus Church worship on the Seventh Day Sabbath. After the takeover these churches continued their worship in house churches and operated in a clandestine manner in many parts of China.
(This is an excerpt from the November-December 2000 edition of The Sabbath Sentinel)
To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 6, click this link: http://biblesabbath.org/tss/486/tss_486.pdf