Beijing: China plans to establish its own Christian theology compatible with Chinese culture and socialist principles of the nation.
Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs said that China will continue to support development of Christianity within the country.
But "the construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China`s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture," Zuoan was quoted as saying by the state-backed China Daily website.
Underlining the significant expansion of Christianity in China, Zuoan said, "Over the past decades, the Protestant churches in China have developed very quickly with the implementation of the country`s religious policy."
Zuoan was speaking at a conference for Sinicization of Christianity in Shanghai.
According to official estimates, there are 23 to 40 million Christians in China, accounting for 1.7 to 2.9 per cent of the population in the Communist nation.
Besides, about 500,000 people are baptised as Protestants in China every year.
The rising number of Christians in China notwithstanding, the communist state has always had a tense relationship with the community.
State author ties are cracking down in Wenzhou - also called China`s Jerusalem, removing crosses from more than 130 Protestant churches and demolishing some entirely, the Taipei Times reported.
While the state authorities cited building codes for the removal of crosses from churches, many believe, government is trying to suppress the fast-growing religion.
Notably, China does not have a formal relationship with the Vatican and appointments of new cardinals and archbishops in China are made independently of the Holy See.
Likewise, Chinese cardinals were not seen in the March 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.