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Authoritarian ContainmentPublic Security Bureaus and Protestant House Churches in Urban China$
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Marie-Eve Reny

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190698089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190698089.001.0001

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Informal Protestantism in China and Local Government Toleration

Informal Protestantism in China and Local Government Toleration

(p.45) 2 Informal Protestantism in China and Local Government Toleration
Authoritarian Containment

Marie-Eve Reny

Oxford University Press

Protestantism is the fastest-growing religion in China. This chapter accounts for why Chinese society has become more religious in the reform period and, most importantly, for the emergence of a large number of informal Protestant churches that challenge the central government’s policy on religious co-optation. It elaborates on some of the central government’s key regulations on religious affairs and the way they have constrained religious practice in state-sanctioned churches. Those pertain to the registration of religious sites, proselytization and religious education, the diffusion of religious materials, and religious leaders’ interactions with international actors. It sheds light on how unregistered Protestant churches have bypassed those regulations, and how local governments have turned a blind eye on their activities.

Keywords:   religious expansion, central government, regulations on religious affairs, unregistered Protestant churches, local government toleration

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