More Christians have been and continue to be detained in China than in any other country. The government officially recognises five religious groups: Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Protestant and Catholic. It strictly controls the Church through the state-monitored Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA). During the Cultural Revolution, even these submissive structures were banned, and all religious activity was forced underground, giving birth to the house-church movement.

Today, there is much debate related to the current number of Chinese Christians, as the government releases only data from TSPM or CPA churches. While the government says there are officially 28.6 million Christians, experts estimate the real number to lie somewhere between 80 and 130 million.

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