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Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Asia$
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David Halloran Lumsdaine

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195308242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195308242.001.0001

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 The Christian Community in China: The Leaven Effect

 The Christian Community in China: The Leaven Effect

(p.43) 1 The Christian Community in China: The Leaven Effect
Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Asia

Chan Kim‐Kwong

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the impact of the expansion of the Christian community on current sociopolitical development in China and it particularly looks at democratization, including the development of civil society, social identity, sociopolitical influence, and the political involvement of the communities studied. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section examines government religious policy, the governmental apparatus on religious affairs, the regime's political objectives toward Christians, and the restrictions with which the Christian community has to live. It also describes the institutional structures of the Christian community and church-state relations in China. The second section examines leavening effects in seven Christian communities—some urban, some rural. Most are government-recognized; a few are nonregistered, illegal groups. Each community manifests faith differently and displays the wide range of interactions between church and society that may affect the shape of Chinese democratization. The final section sums up and classifies the cases, relating these findings to general sociopolitical trends in China.

Keywords:   Christianity, Chinese religious policy, church-state relations, socio-political trends, civil society, social identity

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