In the three months since the massacre in Tiananmen Square, China watchers have sifted anxiously through the scraps of information leaking from the country, searching for any reliable news of the fate of the church in China. While Communist hard-liners purge the government and campuses of “counterrevolutionaries,” observers continue to fear that leaders will eventually turn their attention to Christians (see CT, July 14, 1989, p. 40).

Tony Lambert, a 20-year veteran of China affairs, told Christianity Today that he has received only two reliable reports of arrests of house-church leaders, one from Inner Mongolia in the North and one from South China. The arrests by leftist cadres were no doubt prompted by the political atmosphere that has reigned since Tiananmen, he said, though the believers were not necessarily connected with the demonstrations.

Christian participation in the prodemocracy movement may have been much more extensive than first believed, Lambert said. Notes and poems from some students indicate the faith of many demonstrators. And with as many as 10,000 arrests nationwide, some believers very likely have been taken into custody, he said.

A widely circulated story that police entered Nanjing Theological Seminary and beat students who had taken part in the prodemocracy demonstrations is false, according to the Amity Foundation, which publishes Bibles and other Christian literature, and promotes social-service projects. However, officials from the government Religious Affairs Bureau did talk with students on campus.

Three-Self Endorses Party

After weeks of noticeable silence, Chinese Protestant leaders backed the actions of the Communist Party Central Committee. In a statement dated June 27, the China Christian Council ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.