Without grappling with the complex social and political context of the Chinese church, we are not able to fully understand why the church itself is so complex or how to develop a proper relationship with the church in China.
When we talk about Protestant Christianity in contemporary China, two trademarks stand out: dual networks (Three-Self Patriotic Movement and house church movement), and strong governmental oversight or control of the church. However, they also point to a reality of great diversity, richness, and irony.
Can the current persecution be an opportunity as well as a danger to the church in China? I think we should be confident at this point to say “yes.” This happened in biblical times, and is happening to the church in China of the 21st century, too.