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Chinese church life is best represented in two forms: (1) registered churches that are recognized by the government, generally belonging to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and (2) house churches that do not submit to government regulations and restrictions.

Registering a congregation in China is not the same as registering in Canada in order to issue tax receipts. Registering in China means asking the Chinese government for the right to exist: a right that no human institution possesses.

Registered churches in China generally must accept the following restrictions:

  • They can only meet at designated times, in designated places, with designated leadership.
  • The teaching of children and youth under the age of 18 in the church is generally prohibited.
  • It is illegal to evangelize outside the walls of the church.
  • It is illegal to use or possess Christian literature not published in China and approved by the Chinese government.
  • The Chinese government has a say in who is selected to serve as pastors and leaders.

Many Christians in China refuse to submit to these restrictions. VOMC supports them in this conviction.