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June 1988


Editorial Comment

China's Intrigue

In Hudson Taylor's Day....

Why is the China Inland Mission/North America's 100th Year Celebration So Significant For Us Today?

Why Suddenly Are Many Reports On the Number of China's Christians So Drastically Subdued?

At the Center

Dividing the Church-- What is TSPM Leadership Up To?

China's Three-Self Church

Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Christians in China Tell Their Stories

Around the World

Regional Workshops Spark Cooperation!

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China's Intrigue

Why you can't believe what you read about China!

by Ralph D. Winter

Remote Control Censorship!
Not many people realize the surprising extent to which China's ruling elite can reach across the Pacific to control things in this country.

Stanford University knuckled under. Rather than to incur the wrath of China's ruling elite, not so long ago Stanford denied a man his Ph.D. degree because in his dissertation he reported too accurately gruesome abortion conditions forced on China's masses.

Many schools in this country are not going to make an issue over things like that, if for no other reason than that they are avidly seeking the enrollment of thousands of Chinese students.

In the same way, many a professor, whose career depends on visiting China, must avoid saying things in print that will run counter to China's official positions on a whole array of delicate issues, like Christianity in China.

This is not so strange. But it is a bit perplexing when such influence affects Christianity Today, Moody Monthly, etc. And why not Mission Frontiers? (See further on). And this kind of "public relations" influence is not entirely unique to China.

I was once denied a visa to South Africa apparently because another professor in my same school had made some statements about South Africa which that government did not appreciate. Many governments obviously keep a blacklist of who can and cannot get in.

To sum up, then: although we hope not, it may nevertheless be true that this issue of Mission Frontiers will make it difficult for people associated with us to get into China. So

why would we risk such a thing? I have to say that we did not at some point make a drastic decision to say what we know to be true, no matter what the consequences. We have come to this position gradually, and even yet find it hard to believe that we have now come this far. We might not have done it in one jump.

Taking on China?
Never in my lifetime have I even unintentionally ever "taken on" so large a political force as the People's Republic of China. But, you say, "It is not you, the editor, who is making all of these unusual statements about China. You can't be responsible for what other people say!" But an editor IS responsible.

However, we gradually came to this position. We began to publish the unofficial reports. Gradually it became clear that China, like other countries we could name, clearly does not want the actual facts known. But we published them anyhow. We began to associate with Jonathan Chao, who is well known to China officials for his objectivity and extensive knowledge about China. We decided to allow him to establish an office, and now a library on our property. Perhaps China will one day be as proud of the Christian believers in their country as they profess to be proud about the ethnic diversity. Right now they are trying to appear friendly (to the tribal groups÷and the "cooperative" Christians) so that they can be in a position of control.

But I am sure readers of Mission Frontiers are not expecting us merely to discuss international censorship! No, we have two more weighty purposes than that! 

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