Churches

Chinese church

Christianity was first introduced into China in the Seventh Century. Today Catholicism and Protestant Christianity are two of the five recognised religions.

Christian believers represent a small minority of today’s Chinese, but the numbers have grown rapidly in the past three decades, as restrictions on religions have gradually eased in China. Registered Christian churches belong to the China Christian Council and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Many Christians also meet in unregistered churches and homes.

Freedom of religious belief is guaranteed by the Chinese constitution provided that it is exercised within the law and does not threaten state security. Although freedoms given to Chinese Christians have improved greatly in the last thirty years, restrictions do remain. Traditionally, Chinese Christianity has flourished in rural areas, but with increased urbanisation and the conversion of professionals and intellectuals, many urban churches are also thriving.

© Churches Together in Britain and Ireland 2010