is the Chinese version of the Local Church
, theologically a cult of Christianity
A court in China's Fujian province
has issued an ''evil cult'' indictment of a Hong Kong businessman who transported Bibles into China and may hand him a death sentence, a Hong Kong rights group has said.
The court in the city of Fu Qing said Hong Kong trader Li Guangqiang had ''used an evil cult to damage a law-based society'', the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
said in a statement.
Li Guangqiang in April and May 2000 took 33,000 bibles in two lots into China's Fujian Province to supply an underground Christian group called the Shouter's sect, the group said. He was arrested on his second trip.
The Shouters (Huhan Pai) One source lists
the Shouters as being the successors to the Little Flock
. [4oh] Other sources place the Shouters as having begun in China in Henan province in the 1960s, having been an import from South Korea. The South Korean sect is led by Li Changshou, who has a semi-divine status amongst the Shouters.[4ok] Most sources put the number of Shouters at 200,000 in
the 1980s before and during the 1983 crackdown. [4oh,4ok] The Shouters were so called as members engaged in public shouting as part of their worship. [4ok]
The Shouters are among the fastest-spreading underground churches in China with a reported 500,000 adherents.
Recently, The Shouters were also briefly mentioned in a TIME magazine article:
Lightning is the most aggressive
Christian sect to emerge in China since the revolution, but it follows a beaten path. In the decades before the communists swept to power in 1949, a Chinese missionary known as Watchman Nee
built his congregation, the Little Flock, to 300,000 followers in central China. The sect's emphasis on decentralized congregations launched a home-church movement that helped Christianity survive communist repression. Yet as Little Flock congregations became isolated, they splintered into separate groups. The Shouters
, for instance, rewrote the Lord's Prayer to read simply, ''Oh, Lord Jesus,'' and taught followers to holler the phrase while stamping their feet in unison.
That practice is peculiar to the late Witness Lee's Local Church (Lord's Recovery)
. Lee was himself a former disciple and co-worker of Watchman Nee.
The Local Church practice of calling on the name of the Lord involves the exhilarated, repetitious shouting out loudly of O Lord Jesus. This practice is carried out to be saved, which according to Lee, involves being mingled with God. Lee will appeal to Old and New Testament references to support this practice.
The Bibles had been identified
as Recovery Version New Testaments which are published by the Living Stream Ministry
, the publishing-arm of the Local Church movement. The extensive footnotes written by Witness Lee and the Scripture text found in this edition are supportive of the beliefs and practices of the movement. Footnotes from the Book of Revelation state that denominational groups are spiritual fornicators for taking on names other than that of Christ (Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, etc), that Christianity is degraded for taking on these denominational names, that denominational groups are the harlot daughters of the Whore of Babylon, and that Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism have become an organization used by Satan as a tool to damage God's economy (a la Lee).
The Bible that the Local Church offers in the United States is called the Recovery Version  of the New Testament and is unique,
both for its theology and for its massive doctrinal commentary, which exceeds the actual biblical text on many pages. Study note #5
for Revelation 2:9 reads: "Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as Judaism, fall into this category [opposing God], having
become an organization of Satan as his tool to damage God's economy."
Reportedly, orthodox evangelical Christians in China do consider The Shouters sect to be heretical
. People who leave that movement for a genuinely Christian church are usually re-baptized.
Newspaper reports and wireservices items.
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database