The Christian Century reports that China’s Minister of State Administration for Religious Affairs, Wang Zuo’an, is in Nairobi for a visit with the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya to “enhance the relationship between the Anglican Church, the Global South Anglican Communion and the Chinese church.”  While there, Wang has said that China needs “qualified clergy who can contribute to the development of society.”  Churches in China must register with the state; only Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism are legal.

Considering that China’s spent the past decade investing heavily in resource-rich African countries, using faith ties to strengthen those relationships makes great sense.

But it’s the way in which the Chinese government plans to take control of it’s growing population of Christian believers that most fascinates.  State-appointed clergy?  And The Chinese Church?  Really?