The strongest opposition to the Jonathan Chao’s claim came of 75 million Christians in China came from organizations and individuals aligned with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council. If there were indeed 63 million Protestant Christians in China, it would mean that the official authorities controlled only about 20 percent of them.
In 1997, the Amity News Service released an estimate of 9.8—13.5 million Protestant Christians. This figure was double that of what the TSPM claimed five years earlier. Incredibly, it insisted that its total included “all [Protestant] Christians in China, whether they worship in churches or homes, whether their congregations are part of a Christian Council or not.”
Many house church leaders ridiculed these figures, asserting that the true number of Christians in China was between 50 and 80 million.Main Article