Some underground church in mainland China said that they are a branch of a Christian denomination called "福音派", which also exists in US and other places in the world. But they were not able to name it in English, except that one member mentioned the word of "assembly", despite not being able to confirm whether it is "Assembly of God".

By searching on the censored Internet (the one only available in China), "福音派" seems to be a translation of "evangelical", while "派" means denomination. If I am correct, "evangelical" isn't just a denomination, but a group of conservative denominations, at least in US. Also, I am not sure if there is any mainline denomination in mainland China. It seems to make sense to think of the church as evangelical, since it constantly gives out a conservative feeling, both biblical and political. (The preacher keeps saying that gays are promiscuous and will go to hell, by citing the bible, and claims that the American churches accepting the LGBTQ movement betray the bible. He also keeps requesting every one to keep the church's location a secret, while denying their religious freedom having been infringed at all, and furthermore feeling grateful to the government for not having found it out and/or not having shut it down.)

Is there a way to find out which denomination the church (or a church calling themselves "福音派") belongs to?

Is there more than one evangelical denominations whose names include "assembly"?

Does "福音派" in China mostly likely refer to one particular denomination?

  • It basically means "evangelical" and I don't think is a specific denomination in the sense of the US
    – Dan
    Sep 30, 2023 at 4:07
  • I agree with @Dan. There is a Christianity Today article in English which is translated to Chinese. Those 3 characters appear in graph legend for "Evangelicals". Hope you can see both articles from behind the Chinese firewall. Sep 30, 2023 at 5:29
  • In the US there are several denominations that have "evangelical" in their names such as "Evangelical Free Church". But individual evangelical non-denominational church only rarely has "evangelical" in their names. Usually it's "<something> community church" or "<something> Baptist church" or "<something> Christian church", although there's always exception such as "St. Paul Evangelical Church". Maybe the same in China too. Sep 30, 2023 at 5:38

1 Answer 1


"福音派" is romanized as "fū yīn pài".

Chinese words are very overloaded, with each having several possible meanings, the intended meaning being determined by the context of the surrounding words.

  • "fū" — good fortune, happiness, luck, …
  • "yīn" — sound, noise, note, tone, news, syllable, …
  • "pài" — clique, school, group, faction, …

When combined, "福音" means "good news", "glad tidings", "gospel".

So "fū yīn pài" means "Gospel Group".
(I arbitrarily chose "group"; it could be "school" or "organization" or "denomination" or whatever. Chinese words aren't nearly as specific as English.)

When all three characters are combined, it specifically means "Evangelical" (which could be a noun or an adjective).

This might be the denomination you are looking for:

In 1887, the Swedish American Hans J. von Qualen of the Evangelical Free Church of America became the denomination's first missionary to China. After a short period of language study in Canton, von Qualen established the mission's first chapel in 1888 outside the city of Canton in Henan province as a base for evangelism. By 1925, as the mission developed and had 28 Chinese and Western Christian workers, the mission developed Bible classes which would eventually lead to the establishment of the Canton Bible Institute in 1927, later known as the Evangel Seminary.

It established its first church, Tin Chuen Church, in Hong Kong in 1937. In 1949, a large number of missionaries relocated themselves, along with the Evangel Seminary, south to Hong Kong when there was a change in Chinese political scenery. At the same time, the EFCC Headquarters was also moved to Hong Kong to continue the implementation of its goal.

Evangelical Free Church of China - Wikipedia


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