Information on what churches exist in Fujian Province, and especially, in Fuzhou City and environs [CHN23492.E]

A representative of the Amity Foundation in Hong Kong, a Chinese non-governmental organization that sponsors western teachers in China as well as a number of development projects, and that supports religious work within the parameters of the Chinese system, sent to the IRB the following short list of main churches in Fujian Province:

In Fuzhou City: Flower Lane Church and Heavenly Peace Church; also in Fuzhou there is the Fujian Theological Seminary and the Fujian Christian Council. In other parts of the province: Nanping Gospel Church, Putian Christian Church, South Church (Quanzhou), Trinity Church (Xiamen), Bamboo Tree Church (Xiamen), and Dongfanhou Church (Zhangzhou) (Amity 2 Apr. 1996).

The Amity representative estimated that there were "several thousand" churches in total in Fujian, "including what they call 'meeting points'—these are not 'house churches,' but small, purpose-built halls for worship in a village" (ibid.). The representative also estimated that "there are between 400,000 and 900,000 Christians in Fujian Province," and explained that more accurate figures are not available because the churches are not well-organized (ibid.). The churches and organizations named above are all connected with the Fujian Christian Council (ibid. 1 Apr. 1996). According to the Amity representative, many other churches in Fujian are not connected with the Fujian Christian Council, including many belonging to a network called "the True Jesus Church" (ibid.).

The Director of the United Methodist Church China Program in New York visited several churches in Fuzhou and surrounding areas in November 1995 and confirms that the main church in downtown Fuzhou is called the Flower Lane Church (27 Mar. 1996). The Director attended several services at this church and found there was often standing room only with several hundred people attending (ibid.). The Flower Lane Church also operates a private kindergarten during the week and has its own printing press (ibid.). The Director estimated that the Fujian Theological Seminary in Fuzhou had 50-60 students, and stated that the seminary provides training for lay members from surrounding areas (ibid.). He indicated that clergy are in short supply in Fujian, with only one pastor for every 6,000 members or so (ibid.). The Director also visited a new church in Nanping, three hours north of Fuzhou on the Min River (ibid.). This church seats 1000 people, although 1200 came to one service the Director attended (ibid.). According to the Director, this church has connections with about a dozen churches in the countryside and mountains (ibid.). The Director also visited the Nanping Gospel Church, and according to the Director, the pastor and his assistant at this church also regularly travel to the countryside to village churches to preach and serve communion (ibid.).

For further information, please see the attached pages from a December 1995 Human Rights Watch/Asia document which discuss changes in government regulations of churches in China.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


The Amity Foundation, Hong Kong. 2 April 1996. Fax received from a representative.

_____. 1 April 1996. Fax received from a representative.

United Methodist Church China Program, New York. 27 March 1996. Telephone interview with the Director.


Human Rights Watch/Asia. December 1995. Vol. 7, No. 16. China: Religious Persecution Persists. New York: Human Rights Watch, pp. 6-10.