By Joel A. Carpenter, Kevin R. den Dulk (eds.)
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Korean churches and Christians’ Chinese identity Most of Yanbian Koreans moved from the Korean Peninsula to take refuge and seek a better life in the nineteenth century. Most of them are clearly aware of their origin in North Korea and South Korea, and they have many relatives in the both countries. They think of North Korea or South Korea as their mother country. But they also have Chinese nationality in the political sense; they are Chinese citizens. 0007 Belief, Ethnicity, and State identity for Yanbian Koreans involves three countries: China, North Korea, and South Korea.
This involves state administration. The aim is not to make people passively obey the authority of the state, but to achieve multiple human objectives. Therefore, Yanbian Korean Christians’ religious practice should be fully respected so that they feel they are true Chinese citizens, enjoying their rights. Second, Yanbian Koreans’ differences as a minority and their cultural identity, involving the relationship with South Korea and North Korea, should be respected. The rights of the Yanbian Koreans who work in South Korea or elsewhere in China to be a distinctive group of people should be protected.
According to the requirements of the Christian Association of Jilin, only seminarians from the Jinling Seminary and Northeast Seminary can become ordained pastors whereas those educated by other seminaries or foreign ones will not be qualified to do so. Even if these requirements are met, it is still very hard to actually receive ordination. As a result, many pastors are ordained by South Korean churches and sent as their missionaries to Yanbian. Consequently their churches end up becoming unregistered underground churches, and even the sub-churches of South Korean churches.