The Challenge of Diversity: Evangelical Missionaries and Ethno-Christianity in Reform Era Yunnan

In: Religious Diversity in Asia
Author: Gideon Elazar

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Since the beginning of the reform era, China has witnessed a resurgence of a large variety of religious practice. Today, foreign and Chinese Missionaries working among minority people in Yunnan are faced with the challenge of dealing with a wide variety of religious and cultural and ethnic traditions among potential converts. This chapter discusses the ways both missionaries and converts deal with the issue of religious diversity and syncretism, and how contemporary Christians struggle to reconcile local religious traditions with their new found faith. The observations made here are based on 15 months of anthropological fieldwork conducted in Yunnan in 2009-10 and interviews made during a follow up visit in 2012.