Chinese Theological Review 16

Constitution of the China Christian Council

Article One General Principles

Section 1 This Council shall be known as the China Christian Council (CCC); together with the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China, known as the National Christian Offices (CCC/TSPM).

Section 2 The CCC serves as the national organization for church affairs.

Section 3 The CCC exalts Jesus Christ and his cross and unites all churches throughout China with Christ as our Head in developing together our role in building up the Body of Christ, so as to bear excellent witness to the Gospel of Christ; actively develops theological reconstruction; offers its services to the churches in performance of their ministry; upholds unified worship; advocates mutual respect in matters of faith and worship, and the spirit of "bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" in relationships among members.

Section 4 The aim of the CCC is to unite and lead all patriotic and church loving Christians in China who believe in and serve God and who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord in glorifying God and benefiting people, to abide by the national Constitution, laws, regulations and policies, and to observe social mores; under the leading of the Holy Spirit, with one heart and unity of purpose, in obedience to the truth of Scripture, to uphold the Three-Self patriotic principle, to formulate and perfect the system of order of the Chinese Church, to make our Chinese Church an independent, self-run and well run Church and to enable Chinese Christianity to adapt to socialist society.

Section 5 The CCC accepts lawful administration by the State Administration of Religious Affairs and regulation as a mass organization by the State Civil Administration Department.

Section 6 This Council shall be based in Shanghai.

Article Two Scope of Duties

Section 7 The duties of the CCC are as follows:

(1) To promote theological education and the training of personnel;

(2) To promote publication of the Bible, hymnals and other Christian books and periodicals;

(3) To actively promote theological reconstruction;

(4) To introduce and facilitate the exchange of experience in the areas of evangelism, pastoral work and management among local churches;

(5) To formulate rules and regulations for the church and oversee their application in the local church and promote formulation of such rules and regulations by provincial, autonomous region and directly-administered municipal Christian Councils (or Church Councils) in order to raise the standard of management in the churches;

(6) To initiate friendly relationships between the government and regional churches;

(7) The CCC serves to strengthen contacts with provincial, autonomous region and directly-administered municipal Christian Councils (or Church Councils), through channels of communication, exchange of experience, study and consultation on problems common to its counterparts at these levels.

(8) The CCC shall join with the TSPM in convening the National Conference at prescribed intervals and may convene other joint meetings as the need arises,

(9) The relationship between the ( ( C and the TSPM is one of cooperation with differentiation of function. The CCC coordinates with the TSPM to achieve the whole program of the work of Chinese Christianity:

(10) It is the duty of Christian Council (or Church Councils) at the provinc ial, autonomous region and directly administered municipality level to observe and carry out the resolutions of the CCC. The CCC shall urge compliance and supervise in this regard.

Article Three Structure of the Organization; Election and Removal of Officers

Section 8 The National Chinese Christian Conference is the highest body of this Council It is composed of delegates recommended by Christian Councils (or Church Councils) and Three-Self Committees at the provincial, autonomous region and directly administered municipality level Its duties are:

(1) The drafting and/or revision of this constitution;

(2) Election of the members comprising the national committee of this Council,

(3) Consideration of the Work Report and the Financial Report of the outgoing Standing Committee,

(4) Discussion and determination of the guiding policies for the work of the incumbent Committee;

(5) Determination on other matters of importance.

Section 9 A two-thirds majority of members must be present in order to convene the National Conference. Resolutions passed at the Conference take effect upon a minimum fifty percent affirmative vote of those present.

Section 10 The National Chinese Christian Conference is jointly convened by the Standing Committees of the present CCC and TSPM. It shall meet every five years, but when need arises, may be convened earlier or postponed. This is a matter for decision by the Standing Committees; however, postponement shall be limited to one year. The number of delegates and the method of their election shall be jointly decided by the Standing Committees of the CCC and TSPM.

Section 11 This Council shall be elected by the National Chinese Christian Conference. Term of office shall run until the following meeting of that Conference, with re-election leading to a further period of service. A two thirds majority of members must be present to convene a meeting of the Council and a two thirds vote of members present is required to pass resolutions.

Section 12 A plenary session of the national committee shall be convened every two years jointly by the Standing Committees of the CCC and TSPM, or earlier or later when necessary.

Section 13 This Council shall consist of the President, Vice-Presidents, a General Secretary and members of the Standing Committee. An honorary President may be appointed.

Section 14 The President, Vice-Presidents and General Secretary must possess the following qualifications:

(1) Abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations and policies of the nation, and possess good political credentials;

(2) Enjoy a good reputation within the church;

(3) At the time of election, the ages of the President and Vice-Presidents shall not exceed 75 years, the General Secretary is a full-time position and the incumbent's age shall not exceed 65 years at the time of election.

(4) Good health and the ability to shoulder a normal workload;

(5) Shall not have a criminal record resulting in loss of political rights,

(6) Be capable of fully representing the Council in civil matters.

Section 15 The President of this Council is the legal representative of the organization. A Vice-President or the General Secretary may serve as legal representative if this is so reported to the department responsible and approved by the relevant organization responsible for registry of mass social organizations. One serving as the legal representative of this Council shall not simultaneously serve in the same capacity for another organization.

Section 16 The President, Vice-Presidents or General Secretary, if re-elected, shall continue to serve, but service shall not exceed two terms.

Section 17 The national committee has the following duties:

(1) Consideration of the Work Report of the Standing Committee,

(2) Discussion and oversight of the implementationof the guiding policies of the National Conference;

(3) Election and removal of the President, Vice-Presidents, General Secretary and members of the Standing Committee;

(4) When necessary, supplementary members may be added to the Standing Committee, or an honorary President may be named. These shall serve until the next National Christian Conference.

Section 18 The Standing Committees are the administrative body of the National Christian Conference. When the full body is not in session, the Standing Committees handle the business of the National Conference.

Section 19 The President shall, with the assistance of the Vice-Presidents and General Secretary, direct the work of the Standing Committee.

Section 20 The responsibilities of the Standing Committee are:

(1) Together with the Standing Committee of the TSPM, convene the National Chinese Christian Conference.

(2) Convene the plenary sessions of this Council;

(3) Draft the Work Report of the Standing Committee, and invite consideration of same by the National Chinese Christian Conference or the Plenary Meeting of the CCC/TSPM;

(4) Thoroughly carry out the guiding policies for work determined by the National Conference;

(5) When necessary, recommend the co-option or withdrawal of committee members; those so co-opted shall serve until the next National Conference;

(6) When its work requires, the Standing Committee, together with the Standing Committee of the TSPM, shall appoint working groups, or other specialized commissions, which can be adjusted or supplemented as necessary. These commissions shall work under the joint direction of the Executive Committees of the CCC and TSPM, and their respective General Secretary and Secretary-General. Their resolutions must be passed by a two-thirds majority and their term of office shall end with that of the Standing Committees which appoint them.

(7) To determine other matters of importance.

Section 21 Two-thirds of the members must be present to convene a meeting of the Standing Committee. Resolutions must be passed with a two-thirds majority vote.

Section 22 Meetings of the Standing Committee shall be convened by the Executive Committee once per year; when necessary they may be held more often or postponed.

Section 23 The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the President, Vice-Presidents and General Secretary. The Executive shall deal with the important ongoing business of the Standing Committee, meeting every six months. When necessary, the CCC Executive Committee shall meet jointly with its TSPM counterpart.

Section 24 Associate General Secretaries shall be nominated by the General Secretary, subject to approval by the Standing Committee.

Section 25 Together with the TSPM, the CCC shall set up an Advisory Committee to facilitate access to the positive influence and potential of the older generation of those who have served as members in the past.

(1) The Advisory Committee shall have two Directors, several Deputy Directors and members who shall be recommended by the Executive Committee of the National Conference and approved by the Plenary.

(2) The duties of the Advisory Committee are: Submitting proposals and suggestions for the work of the committee; when necessary, they may be invited to attend related meetings of this Council.

(3) The Advisory Committee shall serve for the term of the Committees that constituted it.

Article Four Management and Use of Finances

Section 26 The expenses of this Council shall be the responsibility of the Standing Committee. Sources of funding are as follows:

(1) Rents and income from church buildings and property;

(2) Income from publication;

(3) Donations;

(4) Interest;

(5) Other lawful income.

Section 27 This Council shall receive donations and contributions according to government regulations.

Section 28 Council expenditure must be within the scope of duties and for the development of work set by this constitution; monies cannot be apportioned to individuals.

Section 29 This Council shall establish a strict system of financial regulation, guaranteeing that its accounting practices are legal, honest, accurate and complete.

Section 30 This Council must provide professionally trained and certified accountants. Accountants cannot simultaneously receive and pay out monies. Accounting personnel must undertake to reconcile and oversee accounts. If accounting personnel are transferred or leave their jobs, transition formalities must be strictly complied with according to government regulations.

Section 31 The financial management of this Council must follow the government regulated financial management system, reporting income and expenses to the Standing Committee and the Plenary and must accept oversight by the Chinese Christian National Conference and the auditing department.

Section 32 Before a change in officers, or when changing the legal representative, there must be a financial audit by the related office of the registry of mass organizations and the department responsible for the work concerned. No unit or individual may occupy, take for personal use or misappropriate the property or funds of this Council.

Section 33 Wages and salaries, insurance and benefits for full-time employees of this Council shall be based on the relevant government regulations for units and enterprises.

Article Five Revision of this Constitution

Section 34 Revisions to this Constitution must be passed by two-thirds of members present of the National Chinese Christian Conference. section 35Revisions to this Constitution must be reported to the office responsible for the work concerned and approved by the registry of mass organizations within 1 5 days of passage before they will take effect.

Article Six Addendum

Section 36 Dissolution and cessation of activities by this Council must be carried out according to relevant government regulations.

Section 37 This Constitution was approved at the Seventh National Chinese Christian Conference May 25, 2002.

Section 38The authority to interpret this Constitution lies with the incumbent Standing Committee

Section 39 This Constitution takes effect on approval by the related office of the registry of mass organizations.

Tian Feng 8/2002: 9-1 1. The Chinese text governs.