Billy Graham Center

MacGillivray Notes, 1950 - Text Only

Huang Yuan,
Tsinghai Province,
N.W. China

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 revolutionary connection.


  • (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 criticism" meetings,
  • (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 imperialistic elements.
  • (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.


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    Last Revised: 12/13/96
    Expiration: indefinite

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