The Failure of the Campaign to Demolish Church Crosses in Zhejiang Province, 2013–2016

A Temporal and Spatial Analysis

in Review of Religion and Chinese Society
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

In 2013, the Zhejiang government initiated a campaign to demolish church crosses (DCC) throughout the province in the name of landscape improvement. In April 2016, the campaign was abruptly and quietly halted. The termination of the campaign was primarily due to unremitting resistance by Christians in Zhejiang. This article provides a temporal and spatial analysis of the DCC campaign that reveals multiple failures on the part of the Zhejiang authorities, including missing several self-imposed deadlines to remove all church crosses in the province, inconsistently implementing the campaign in various regions, and causing the breakdown of the bridging mechanism between Christian churches and the party-state. The failure of the DCC campaign is an important empirical case for studies of religion and Chinese society. It indicates that the church-state equilibrium in China may be approaching a tipping point.

The Failure of the Campaign to Demolish Church Crosses in Zhejiang Province, 2013–2016

A Temporal and Spatial Analysis

in Review of Religion and Chinese Society

Sections

References

BBC Chinese. 2016. “Priest Couple Bao Guohua and Xing Wenxiang Are Convicted with Lengthy Sentences浙江教案:包国华、刑文香牧师夫妻遭重判. http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/china/2016/02/160226_china_church_trial (accessed January 10 2018).

Cao Nanlai . 2010. Constructing China’s Jerusalem: Christians Power and Place in Contemporary Wenzhou. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.

Center on Religion and Chinese Society. 2010. “Strangers No More: Village Churches on the Good Earth of the Sacred Land.” https://www.purdue.edu/crcs/events/global-china-forum/global-china-forum-2010/photo-exhibition/.

Yilu Chen 陈逸鲁. 2014. “Some Thoughts from Modern Management Science on the Demolition of the Sanjiang Cross从现代管理学的角度思考强拆三江十字架事件. Pushi Institute for Social Science. May 1. http://www.pacilution.com/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=4973 (accessed January 10 2018).

Hangzhou Chongyi Church. 2015. “Churches in Hangzhou Respond to ‘The Regulation of Religious Buildings in Zhejiang Province’: The Administrative Department Involved Should Not Interfere in Religious Affairs杭州教会反馈《浙江省宗教建筑规范》:主管部门不宜涉及宗教内部事务. http://www.gospeltimes.cn/index.php/portal/article/index/id/28664 (accessed January 10 2018).

Hao Zhidong and Liu Yan . 2018. “Mutual Accommodation in the Church-State Relationship in China? A Case Study of the Sanjiang Church Demolition in Zhejiang.” Review of Religion and Chinese Society 5 (1): 26–42.

Huang Jianbo and Yang Fenggang . 2005. “The Cross Faces the Loudspeakers: A Village Church Perseveres Under State Power.” In State Market and Religions in Chinese Societies edited by Yang Fenggang and Tamney Joseph B. 4162. Leiden: Brill. doi 10.1163/243955-04102002b.

Hunter Alan and Chan Kim-Kwong . 1993. Protestantism in Contemporary China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Johnson Ian . 2014. “Church-State Clash in China Coalesces Around a Toppled Spire.” New York TimesMay 30 . https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/world/asia/church-state-clash-in-china-coalesces-around-a-toppled-spire.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Liu Hui 刘慧. 2014. “Annual Report on China’s National Security Studies 2014中国国家安全研究报告 2014. Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press.

MacInnis Donald E. 1989. Religion in China Today: Policy and Practice. Maryknoll NY: Orbis.

McLeister Mark . 2018. “Chinese Protestant Reactions to the Zhejiang ‘Three Rectifications, One Demolition’ Campaign.” Review of Religion and Chinese Society 5 (1): 76–100.

New York Times. 2014a. “The 2013 Implementation Plan of the TROD Involving Illegal Religious Buildings‘三改一拆’涉及宗教违法建筑处置工作实施方案 2013 . https://cn.nytimes.com/china/20140530/cc30document/ (accessedJanuary 10 2018).

New York Times. 2014b. “More Churches Lose Their Crosses Despite Protests不顾抗议,浙江基督教堂再拆十字架. https://cn.nytimes.com/china/20140815/c15church/ (accessed January 10 2018).

O’Brien Kevin J. ed. 2008. Popular Protest in China. Harvard Contemporary China Series 15. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

People’s Daily. 2015. “There Is No End to Work: Taking the Lead and Creating a New Environment干在实处永无止境,走在前列要谋新篇. May 28. http://dangjian.people.com.cn/n/2015/0528/c117092-27067969.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Perry Elizabeth J. 2001. “Challenging the Mandate of Heaven: Popular Protest in Modern China.” Critical Asian Studies 33 (2): 163180.

University Purdue . 2010. “Purdue Galleries begins a new season of exhibitions.” Purdue University News Service. August 19. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/events/2010/100819AR-MartinGalleries.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Shamen Government. 2014. “The Implementation Plan of Regulating the Illegal Religious Buildings in Shamen Township沙门镇宗教和民间信仰活动场所违法建筑专项整治工作实施方案. http://www.pacilution.com/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=4877 (accessed January 10 2018).

UCAN News. 2014. “Zhejiang Christians Suspect Officials’ Promotions or Demotions Related to Three Rectifications and One Demolition浙江基督徒怀疑官员升迁和追责与三改一拆有关. June 27. http://china.ucanews.com/2014/06/27/ (accessed January 10 2018).

Vala Carsten T. 2017. The Politics of Protestant Churches and the Party-State in China: God above Party? New York: Routledge.

Wang Aiming 王艾明. 2014. “The Amount and Degree of Demolition of Illegal Structures in Zhejiang: The Cross and the State Rationality浙江拆违的量与度——十字架与国家理性. Gospel TimesJune 29. http://m.gospeltimes.cn/news/23734 (accessed January 10 2018).

Wanwei Blog. 2014. “Why does Secretary Xia Baolong give the ‘cross’ a hard time?夏宝龙书记为什么要跟十字架过不去. April 13. http://blog.creaders.net/u/2366/201404/178784.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Wenzhou Pastors. 2015. “An Open Letter: Shout Out! Do Not Be Silent Anymore!一封呼吁信:呐喊吧!不要再沉默了! . July 28. http://www.chinaaid.net/2015/07/blog-post_61.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Xiao Yunze . 2017. “Belief Patterns and Land Rules: A Case Study of Christianity Based on Land-Control Act [sic] in Province A.” Logos & Pneuma Chinese Journal of Theology 46 (2): 375410.

Yang Fenggang . 2012. Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ying Fuk-tsang . 2018. “The Politics of Cross Demolition: A Religio-Political Analysis of the ‘Three Rectifications and One Demolition’ Campaign in Zhejiang Province.” Review of Religion and Chinese Society 5 (1): 43–75.

Peihong Zhang 张培鸿. 2015. “The Affidavit from Pastor Yizi Huang in Defense of Charges of Disturbing Social Order黄益梓牧师涉嫌聚众扰乱社会秩序案辩护词. Website of the Pu Shi Institute for Social Science . http://www.pacilution.com/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=5685 (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhejiang Catholic Patriotic Association and Church Affairs Committee. 2015. “Zhejiang Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) Strongly Requested the Authorities to Stop Cross Demolition Immediately浙江省天主教“两会”强烈要求立即停止拆除十字架. http://msguancha.com/a/lanmu4/2015/0707/12750.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhejiang Christian Council. 2015. “An Open Letter of the Zhejiang Christian Council to Zhejiang Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission to Stop Cross Demolition浙江基督教协会呼吁 停止强拆教堂十字架. http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/Xinwen/13-07112015163733.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhejiang Daily. 2014. “Yongjia County of Wenzhou Demolished the Sanjiang Illegal Religious Building浙江永嘉依法拆除三江违法宗教建筑. April 29. http://cpc.people.com.cn/n/2014/0429/c83084-24955806.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhejiang Government. 2013. “The Announcement of the Three Year Plan of the ‘Three Rectification, One Demolition’ throughout Zhejiang Province浙江省人民政府关于在全省开展‘三改一拆’三年行动的通知. http://www.zj.gov.cn/art/2013/3/13/art_13012_77021.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhejiang News. 2014. “Carry the Three Rectification and One Demolition through to the End将三改一拆进行到底. http://zjnews.zjol.com.cn/system/2014/07/08/020129012.shtml (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhejiang Provincial Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission. 2015. “The Draft of Regulation of Religious Buildings in Zhejiang Province浙江宗教建筑规范征求意见. https://zj.zjol.com.cn/news/96883.html (accessed January 10 2018).

Zhu Jianzhong . 2017. “Religious Regulation and Churches Responses—A Case Study on the Anti-demolition Action of Christianity in Wenzhou.” Paper presented at the international conference “Changing Religious Landscape in Contemporary East Asia” July 11–13 2017Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.

Weiqun Zhu 朱维群. 2013. “Study Religious Policy, Do Religious Work Well学习宗教政策,做好宗教工作. China Ethnic NewsJuly 23 . http://www.mzzjw.cn/zgmzb/html/2013-07/23/content_93185.htm (accessed January 10 2018).

Figures

  • View in gallery

    The number of churches in Zhejiang Province affected by the campaign to demolish church crosses (February 2014–April 2016), by month.

  • View in gallery

    The development of Christian churches in Zhejiang Province at the township level, pre–1949–2004.

  • View in gallery

    Churches in Zhejiang Province affected by the campaign to demolish church crosses in 2014–2016, and the number of churches in 2004.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 66 66 33
Full Text Views 17 17 15
PDF Downloads 4 4 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0