BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) — The mainland China-based Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) held their first national congress in Beijing on Sunday.
This is the first convention for the two associations since 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was established.
The first national council and chairman is expected to be announced for each of the two associations at the congress, which will be attended by about 180 representatives and invited guests across the nation.
Wang Zuo’an, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), told the opening session that the two organizations should adhere to the nation’s religious principle of “independence and self-governance.”
Taking the meeting as a new starting-point, the YMCA and the YWCA should encourage their members to make contribution to social services, social harmony and stability, said Wang.
The YMCA and YWCA were established in China in the end of the 19th century and were brought into the jurisdiction of the SARA in 2009. They have had branches in 10 cities in China to date.