Billy Graham Center
MacGillivray Notes, 1950 - Text Only
June 11th 1950
My Notes on the Meetings with Investigation Group, Sian, May 17-19
Liu Fang Mou's report of official talks between Government and Christian
leaders concerning the Church in New China'
19 Church leaders from Peiping and Tientsin went to interview
Government leaders at short notice. They had 3 talks with Minister Chou
En Lai (4 hrs. each) and 3 with other leaders (3 hrs. each), twenty high
government leaders being present. Minister Chou was educated at
Nankai so was familiar with YMCA and knew a good deal about the
Church. He emphasised the following points:-
1. THE CHURCH AND HISTORY. Religion and politics inseparably
connected in Europe but ever separate in China. Luther's Reformation
against Catholicism recognised; Protestant influence on China admitted p-
closely with imperialism and imperialistic aims. In 1919 student movement
of the 4th of the 5th month started and had its meetings in Tientsin YMCA -
some connection with revolutionary movements, produced a few
revolutionaries, supported war against Japan, but generally the church
connected with imperialism throughout. Church asked to send
representatives to Constituent Assembly in October because of
2. THE DUTIES OF THE CHURCH AT THE PRESENT TIME.(a) It must sever all connections with imperialism, understanding its
methods of work and influence in the Church. If it clear out all imperialistic
elements in its constitution no reason why it should not continue to exist -
to be done by the church itself (tzu tung ti) not by the government (pei tung
ti) inaugurating "down with religion" movement (the alternative). Democratic
movement within to "ch'ing suan" (reckon clean).
(b) It must clear out the running dogs of imperialism' -Chiang, Kung etc.
(c) It must develop into self-governing, self-propogating, self-supporting
organization - train its own leaders, develop its own methods of self-support,
learn to do without foreign money. Money reduced gradually in case of
institutions rendering services to the people and needed in China at present
e.g. Yenching. Church should institute "testing the thinking" and "self
(d) It would be best for the Church to [word crossed out] gradually get
rid of foreign preachers. Principle of the Church to do without foreign
money and foreign preachers.
(5) It should increase its love of country and/democracy. Are these
found in the Church as interpreted by the Government? Government can
cooperate with the Church to carry out the "kung tung kang ling" (stated
but not yet published officially). It recognises religion to be necessary with
Protestants (1 million), Catholics (3 million), Buddhists and Moslems making
up more than 50% of the population. It will take good points of Jesus'
teaching for use in new society e.g. about the poor and the rich. In future
socialist or communist China, Church will have a place as in Russia.
Materialism and Idealism (wei hsin lun) can subsist together but latter
cannot take the place of the former. Government has a "down with
religion" movement but it will not be necessary if the Church gets rid of
(f) It should accept and follow the leadership of the Government.
Minister Chou came back again and again to the necessity of getting rid
of imperialistic elements and connection with imperialistic countries,
England and America, and the necessity of becoming self-supporting,
self-governing, and self-propogating.
OTHER POINTS :- Preaching to be confined to the churches
lest there be trouble on the streets if preaching there; people form outside
should not go to places whereland has been divided in order to preach,
especially to north-east areas which are more advanced in socialism.
FROM OTHER SPEAKERS:- Various emphasis/of the minister's
talks; large number of missionaries in China not suited to 'New China'
because of Western thinking and style of living etc. (best for them to
withdraw as quickly as possible!): some still have contribution (doctors,
nurses, technicians etc.,;; new people who might have contribution
but wiser at present not to invite in view of minister's emphasis. ****************
Last Revised: 12/13/96
© Wheaton College 2005