Chinese Protestant Reactions to the Zhejiang “Three Rectifications, One Demolition” Campaign

In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society

This paper analyzes the wider effects of church demolitions and cross removals in Zhejiang on another location within the Huadong region. Based on fieldwork conducted in 2014 and 2015, this paper argues that the demolition of churches and church crosses is a potential catalyst for millenarian beliefs within popular Christianity. Much of the research on millenarianism has focused on specific movements. However, this paper utilizes the concept of millenarianism as a “body of underground ideas and thought which circulates in a community” and argues that the Zhejiang events have heightened millenarian beliefs within the Huanghaicheng Protestant community and resulted in an interpretation of these events as indicating that the “Last Days” are imminent. This perception has been facilitated by other “signs.” This paper furthers our understanding of the potential impact that political campaigns can have on popular Christianity and what resources individual believers draw on for making sense of them.

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