An article from CCC&TSPM on May 1 interpreted the “Outline of the Five-Year Work Plan for Further Advancing the Sinicization of Christianity (2023-2027).”

It said that the “Outline 2023-2027” consists of five parts: overall requirements, target principles, annual main tasks, focal point of work, and organizational implementation.

The article stated, “Compared to the ‘Outline 2018-2022,’ the content of the ‘Outline 2023-2027’ appears deeper, more realistic, and more detailed, it added. For example, the focus of the ‘Outline 2023-2027’ is no longer just on emphasizing the significance of the sinicization of Christianity but rather on the ‘how’ to sinicize Christianity. It no longer vaguely discusses the renewal of theology but plans to start with major theological themes such as ‘theology of God,’ ‘theology of Christ,’ ‘theology of humanity,’ and ‘theology of the church,’ reflecting on and discussing them in the context of Chinese culture to lay the foundation for building a theological framework with Chinese characteristics.”

The article mentioned, “In terms of content coverage, the outline not only touches on artistic expressions, such as sacred music, painting, and architecture, but also focuses on internal theological thought development, pulpit supply, and talent pool building. In terms of participant groups, it no longer stops at the clergy but extends to theological students and grassroots volunteers, gradually making the sinicization of Christianity a conscious thought and action for the church in China.”

Furthermore, the article elucidated that “the goal of the sinicization of Christianity is to construct a theological system with Chinese church characteristics to run the Chinese church well,” which should be involved in the order of the socialist society. “It should be inspired by the core values of socialism, combined with the fusion of religious doctrines with Chinese culture.”

After the discussion during a working conference, CCC&TSPM proposed the key points of this year’s work as follows:

1. Diverse celebration activities will be held, such as concerts, calligraphy and painting exhibitions, and essay contests, following the study and implementation of the “Patriotic Education Law of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” and in preparation for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. It aims to guide the clergy and religious masses to love the country, the religion, and socialism and identify with the motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Communist Party of China, and socialism with Chinese characteristics.

2. Symposiums or seminars will be hosted to summarize and refine the model of church governance under the leadership of CC&TSPM in China and improve the paradigm of “Chinese-style” church management in accordance with the requirements of comprehensive, strict governance of the religion, taking the opportunity to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of TSPM.

3. In accordance with the requirements of the “Outline 2023-2027” for the annual theological symposium, discussions on the theology of God will be conducted, integrating excellent traditional Chinese culture to elaborate the view of God from a Chinese perspective. Relevant theological essays are to be compiled for publication in order to lay the foundation for building a  system of Christian theology with Chinese characteristics.

4. In collaboration with provincial and municipal CC&TSPMs, CCC&TSPM will launch seminars or training sessions on the sinicization of Christianity with distinctive themes. For example, they plan to cooperate with the Shanghai Christian Council to hold a parallel conference on the sinicization of Christianity titled “Preaching in Shanghai.” Theoretical training courses on the sinicization of Christianity will be carried out for pastoral workers with the help of a provincial CC&TSPM in Southwest China, with activities to promote the sinicization of Christianity being enriched to expand its positive influence.

5. CCC&TSPM will pay attention to the compilation of Chinese Bible annotations and strive for new phased achievements in the coming year, through improving the working methods, such as adjusting the leadership group members. They will continue to promote the work of the theological education team to promote Christianity in the Chinese context in a deep and detailed way by carrying out training and preaching demonstration activities while adjusting and enriching the preaching team.

6. They will attach importance to talent training and team building and increase support for theological education. Symposiums on the sinicization of Christianity with participants from the political, religious, and academic circles are to be held for talent search and intellectual support for promoting the sinicization of Christianity with clear direction and consensus.

7. CCC&TSPM plans to make full use of its media resources and varied conferences and training opportunities to create a good atmosphere for sinicizing Christianity, aiming to clarify and correct misunderstandings and misinterpretations of sinicizing Christianity by a few overseas individuals by telling the story of the Chinese church.

8. The Special Committee to Advance the Sinicization of Christianity is urged to carry out research on the publicity and implementation of the “Outline 2023-2027,”  studying and discussing common problems in the process of promoting the sinicization of Christianity. They will stimulate the original motivation for sinicizing Christianity and tap various cultural and ideological resources to develop Christianity in the Chinese context.