(地方教會). A name used by two different Chinese Christian religious movements in the tradition of Watchman Nee (Ni Tuosheng, 倪柝聲, 1903–1972) and based on his idea that there should be only one Christian church active in any given city. Despite Nee’s arrest in 1952, his co-worker Witness Lee (Li Changshou, 李常受, 1905–1997), moved to Taiwan in 1949 and to California in 1962 and reorganized a movement there, introducing several doctrinal innovations. Not all of Nee’s disciples accepted Lee’s new teachings, with the result that there are in fact two different groups using the name “Local Church,” sometimes distinguished in China as the “old Local Church” (Laodifangjiaohui, 老地方教會), who accepts Nee but rejects Lee, and the “new Local Church” (Difangjiaohui, 地方教會), i.e., Lee’s own organization, which is also called “the Assembly” (召會), the term Lee originally used in China while he used “Local Church” in the West. In China, the terms Local Church and Shouters are often used as synonymous. However, due to the persecution and other factors, the movement in China further fragmented into several different branches, and the groups referred to as “Shouters” are not necessarily in communion with others known as “Local Churches” in the West.
A Christmas Letter from Bitter Winter
2020 has been a bad year for religious liberty, not only because of the COVID-19. Bitter Winter was there every day to report, but needs your help.
Loi française sur les « principes républicains » : et si elle favorisait une plus grande liberté de religion ?
Un nouveau « livre blanc » de Frédéric-Jérôme Pansier, Willy Fautré et Massimo Introvigne, recommande de profiter de la loi pour moderniser la définition française de la religion.
New Religious Movements, COVID-19, and Media: The Case of Scientology
A Webinar organized by the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions discusses the book by Rosita Šorytė on how Scientologists confronted the pandemic
Deprogramming in Japan: Damages Awarded in Unification Church Case
Japanese judges confirm that kidnapping and detaining believers for the purpose of coercively “de-converting” them is a crime.