Source: showchina [11:29 July 15 2009]
Protestantism was first introduced via Persia as early as 635. However, due to its failure to root itself in Chinese society and culture, it had never achieved significant development and almost disappeared several times. In the 19th century, Protestantism made significant advances into China from the West. In 1950, Chinese Protestants launched the three-self patriotic campaign, which consequently enabled them to be independent through self-administration, self-support and self-propagation. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), church activities were suspended. They resumed in 1979, followed by the founding of the Chinese Christian Council in 1980.
Over the past two and a half decades, Protestantism has developed well in China under the leadership of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee of the Protestant Churches of China and the Chinese Christian Council. Approximately 50,000 churches are now open to the public, 70 percent of them being built in recent years. The number of Chinese Protestants has surpassed 16 million, with rural followers accounting for over 70 percent.
At present, there are 18 seminaries and Bible schools throughout the country, and nearly 5,000 graduates are serving in churches or seminaries all over China. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee of the Protestant Churches of China and the Chinese Christian Council have published and distributed approximately 30 million copies of The Bible, 14 million copies of The Psalms (new edition). They also have their own website Chinese Protestant Church (www.chineseprotestantchurch.org).