Come to an understanding of the house church China. How does it differ from the 3 Self Church in China?
Why is there a need for house churches in China when the government allows for free church attendance? This video will help you understand this difference between house churches or underground churches and the government sponsored "Three Self" churches.
Twice I have attended services at the government churches in Beijing, China. The first time we were there early so were able to sit inside the church and not in the courtyard with the overflow crowd.
The church was packed and the service benign. As obvious tourists, we were spotted and approached by a young Chinese girl who volunteered to answer any questions we might have about freedom of religion in China. She rattled off the benefits of being able to attend church freely in China, such as we were experiencing right at that moment. She gave us her email address and encouraged us to correspond with any questions we might have.
After our encounter with this young lady, both my husband and I agreed that her friendliness and volunteering of information made us feel targeted for Chinese propaganda agenda. It was obvious that she was planted in the service to seek out foreigners and enlighten them about the "freedom" of religion in China.
We also sensed that the majority of Chinese attenders were sincere believers...just stuck with a not so sincere church to attend or perhaps afraid to attend a house church China.
The next time I attended, we (my 84 year old mother, son John, and myself) were late and the only room was on stumps in the courtyard. At least there was something to sit upon. Soon, after being noticed, again as tourists, we were invited into a large comfortable room to sit around a large table. Much hospitality was shown us and soon an interpreter was ushered into join us and translate the sermon, which was heard through a loud speaker, for us.
Before the translator arrived we were asked many questions by a young minister who had joined us and my teenager son, John, was invited to move to China and work with the church in China.
My mother, not having an intense interest in having the sermon translated, suggested we leave before the end, which we decided to do.
Again, we felt clearly targeted for Chinese propaganda against the house church China. The invitation to John, offered so quickly, was strange indeed.
Our premature departure may have confused them, but then the event was becoming far more complicated than we desired. We merely wished to say we had attended a church service in China...and in part, we did.