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Four Types of Protestant Churches in Beijing

Striving to Build Civic Communities

In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
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This study examines whether and to what extent Protestant churches contribute to the building of civic communities within China. Four types of Protestant churches in Beijing (the Three-Self, Migrant Workers, Wenzhou Businesspeople, and Urban Professionals churches) are compared in terms of their organizational structures, believer participation, missions, and conflict resolution methods. This empirical study proposes that Shouwang Church, as a representative of the Urban Professionals Church, exhibits the character of civic community in many ways. Meanwhile, the Migrant Workers, Wenzhou Businesspeople, and Three-Self churches, constrained as they are by various factors, are relatively removed from civic community in different respects. The roles that Christian churches could play in the building of civil society in China deserve a great deal of attention.

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