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The Future of Religious FreedomGlobal Challenges$
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Allen D. Hertzke

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199930890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199930890.001.0001

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Oligopoly Dynamics and the Triple Religious Markets in China

Oligopoly Dynamics and the Triple Religious Markets in China

Chapter:
(p.128) 5 Oligopoly Dynamics and the Triple Religious Markets in China
Source:
The Future of Religious Freedom
Author(s):

Fenggang Yang

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199930890.003.0006

This chapter introduces four types of state-religion relations in human history – religious monopoly, pluralism, oligopoly, and a total ban. It argues that religious oligopoly is the most common practice in the world today and applies that understanding to the situation in China. The chapter illuminates the operation of triple markets in China: a red market of legal (officially permitted and regulated) religions; a black market of illegal religious groups and activities; and a grey market of spiritual organizations and practices of ambiguous legal status. This triple market is dynamic, as some groups, such as the Falun Gong, moved from ambiguous to illegal status, while some illegal underground Christian churches have moved into the gray category. The chapter draws upon these findings to challenge and refine dominant theories about the operation of religious markets.

Keywords:   religious markets, religious monopoly, religious oligopoly, religious pluralism, triple religious markets in China, underground churches, black market religion, Falun Gong, Qigong, Catholic Patriotic Association

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