Chapter 10 Faith and Charity: Christian Disaster Management in 1920s Chaozhou

In: The Church as Safe Haven
Joseph Tse-Hei Lee
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This chapter studies the Christian disaster relief efforts in the Chaozhou-speaking region of Guangdong Province during the 1920s. It particularly looks at how Chinese Baptists and Presbyterians employed socio-religious resources to cope with the devastating effects of the August 2, 1922 typhoon. Seeking help from treaty-port communities in China and from global churches, these Chaozhou Christians activated their religious networks to gather managerial, capital, medical and labor resources for fundraising and post-disaster reconstruction—resources that the Shantou municipality did not possess. The Christian relief operation was a large-scale, multi-layered organizational task, and differed from that of the traditional efforts of chambers of commerce, temples and lineages. Its success highlighted the remarkable organizational capacity of the Christian missions and native churches.

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