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Politics of Faith: Christian Activism and the Maoist State in South China

  • Joseph Tse-Hei Lee

Abstract

The response of Chinese Christians to the socialist state after the Communist Revolution of 1949 reveals the complexity of church and state relations in Maoist China (1949–1976). This chapter looks at the experience of Christian communities in the Chaozhou-speaking region of northeastern Guangdong province. Because these communities constituted an integral part of the local political, social, and economic power structure before the Communist takeover of South China, they refused to be subject to the control of the Maoist state. They did not subscribe to the highly politicized anti-imperialist rhetoric of the state-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement (sanzi aiguo yundong): self-rule autonomous from foreign missionary and imperialist control, financial self-support without any foreign donations, and self-preaching independent of any missionary influences. As the overarching organization of the one-party state, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement sought to ensure that all Chinese Protestant congregations would submit to the socialist ideology.

Keywords

Communist Party Church Leader United Front Christian Community Communist State 
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Copyright information

© Siu-Keung Cheung, Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, and Lida V. Nedilsky 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Tse-Hei Lee

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