The historical relationship between China and Christianity: how suppression has actually encouraged religious growth in the PRC

Serena Foster
2012
Foster 2 I have chosen to confront the historical and current situation regarding Christianity and its relationship to Communist China. My intent was to begin by giving a brief history. However, a brief history of this particular relationship is not possible to accomplish my goal in this instance. This subject is so deep and intricate that it can only be offered in depth in order to address my questions properly. Following this necessary in-depth history, I intend to convey the recent
more » ... he recent circumstances which have driven many Chinese citizens towards a religious affiliation. More explicitly I will suggest a plausible explanation as to why Christianity is outpacing all of the other traditional religions, such as the recent tendency to lean towards Western influences rather than traditional Chinese ones because of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. In closing I will answer the question of why members of the People's Republic of China have turned to the Christian religion specifically although there are several other options available. The historical relationship between China and Christianity has been one of extreme adversity. The most fundamental problem for Christianity and its existence in China is that it is a religion where one answers to God first and government second. Because "religion has always been regulated by the state" 1 , and the Chinese tradition is one where "the government is the master" and "religion is the follower" 2 ; a tradition of anti-Christianity has reportedly existed as far back as the early seventeenth century 3 . More recently there are many contributing factors to this tradition of disapproval of Christianity in China, such as "the attitude of
doi:10.26053/0h-2h2t-vz00 fatcat:af4s33xqurhw3ot7p7swqpquny