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10/19/10 China (ChinaAid) — On October 15, 2010, the China Lausanne Delegation in Beijing issued an open letter to the relevant Chinese government agencies involved in persecuting house church Christians. Included at the end of the letter is a chronological list showing actions taken against house church Christians that would restrict them from travel.

An Open Letter from the China Lausanne Delegation

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization will take place October 16 through 25 in Cape Town, South Africa. This global evangelical gathering will bring together more than 4,000 representatives from nearly 200 countries. The Lausanne Congress organizers invited over 200 delegates from house churches in China to attend the conference.

Relevant departments of the Chinese government have kept the Chinese delegates from joining the Lausanne Congress. They used many different approaches, such as persuasion, surveillance, obstruction, detention and even confiscation of passports at airports. As a result, the vast majority of the Chinese invitees will not be in attendance at the meeting.

In response to the event, we have decided to issue this open letter to expound upon our position and approach.

First, the house church is the main part of the Chinese church. It is an independent, self-governing and self-supporting church.

The underground church in China has abided by the principle of separation of state and religion, and has still witnessed continued growth. From villages to cities, from the coastal areas to the hinterlands, from the central plains to the frontier, the house church can be found all across China.

From humble beginnings of worship gatherings of dozens of people hosted in one home, the house church today has grown considerably. Hundreds or even thousands of worshippers meet at office buildings, convention centers and church buildings. The members of the house church have amounted to tens of millions of people from all walks of life, and more are being added daily. The house church has already become the main body of the Chinese church.

Second, the members of the house church in China have been longing to attend the Lausanne Congress.

The Lausanne Congress is a worldwide Christian conference that confronts critical issues pertaining to promoting evangelization all over the globe. As part of the global church, China’s house church wants very much to join all the other churches in an ongoing discussion about how to be a witness of God’s love toward the world by spreading the gospel of Christ.

We believe that attending the Lausanne Congress by the Chinese representatives will strengthen the friendship between Christians worldwide by giving testimony of God’s love toward China and sharing the vast changes of the Chinese church over the past decades.

Upon receiving the invitations, many house church members devoted much to preparing for the conference. Numerous churches and their members have made substantial donations. The house church not only raised all the money needed for the Chinese delegates to make the trip, but also the expenses for 100 representatives from some neighboring and African countries.

This is more evidence of the growth of the Chinese house church.  

See full letter