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In: Globalization and the Making of Religious Modernity in China
In: Mission Studies
In: Mission Studies
In: Mission Studies

Most studies of Christianity in the early PRC have focused on the politicization of religious practices under the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, explaining how the Christian faith empowered people to resist the state’s atheistic propaganda. In fact, both Communist officials and Christians invoked ideas about transcendent power and moral purpose, blurring the boundary between secular and religious concerns. The state-sanctioned patriotic religions had greatly impacted the political and theological orientations of Chinese Christians in the Maoist era. This article looks at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shanghai, one of the first Protestant denominations to be denounced in the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. When the state infiltrated the Adventist institutions, some of the pro-government Adventist leaders worked with the officials to bring the church closer to the socialist order. Most of the Adventists, however, resisted the state and organized themselves into a diffused network of house churches. This study highlights the fluid and complex political environment that the Adventists experienced, and the ways they interacted with the Maoist state. The reorientation of theological concerns, the new strategies for evangelization, and the growth of autonomous church networks enabled the Adventists to be a fast-growing religious movement.

In: Frontiers of History in China

Abstract

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.

In: The Church as Safe Haven

Abstract

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.

In: The Church as Safe Haven