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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 16. August 14, 1952

What About Missionaries?

What About Missionaries?

Questions were many and varied, but mainly concerned details of the Chinese scene.

Of the position of the Christian, Mr. Archer stated that religious freedom was guaranteed both on paper and in practice. He had seen the congregation going into the Southern Baptist Church at Sandan the day he left. Unsatisfied, the Full-bright questioner rose again to describe how several missionaries had been killed and tortured.

In reply, Mr. Archer said that like everything else, the Chinese Churches were being increasingly run by Chinese. Closing of missions was largely the result of U.S. embargo on finance. In practice, any way many missions had little effect on the ordinary people. The simplest home in a mission compound was more lavish than a landlord's, and at most only 5 of China's 500 million were Christians. Moat mission hospitals (except Quakers') were almost full of paying patients—which meant the wealthy. Missionaries were linked in the people's minds with overseas interests.

Mr. Archer's experiences of justice under the new regime made the "torture" stories hard to believe, but he said that some missionaries had been political agents first and missionaries second.

Of Corso aid to Sandan, Mr. Archer said that Government aid had made it unnecessary. They would rather Corso money went were it was needed—to Greece, Pakistan, etc.