China, which already views Christianity as the enemy of the state, is taking new steps to influence state-approved churches in the communist country.
“Three Self” is the name of Chinese churches that are allowed to openly operate instead of hiding underground, and the price for cooperating with a government suspicious of Christianity is predictably steep.
Brynne Lawrence of China Aid, a watchdog group that helps the underground Church, says Three Self churches are now being required to combine the Gospel message with the teachings of Confucius, and with a state-approved book to “help” them.
“And what that's doing,” she warns, “is basically giving them an avenue to kind of rewrite and therefore control Christian theology and thought.”
Confucianism, which dates back to about 200 B.C., predictably conflicts with the gospel message of sin and redemption through Jesus Christ.
China Aid is also reporting that Three Self churches are being influenced with Buddhist teachings, too, and congregations are being required to sing state-honoring patriotic songs alongside hymns.