Edited by Teresa Wright
Chapter 21: Protestant resistance and activism in China’s official churches
In 2014, the Chinese government launched a campaign to remove crosses in Zhejiang Province, setting off collective action by official church leaders and their congregants for the following two years. Resistance to state action by China’s Protestants takes multiple forms, many of which are far less dramatic than efforts to block local authorities’ drive to reduce Christianity’s visibility in and around Wenzhou—known as China’s Jerusalem for having the highest percentage of Christian adherents. Drawing on a range of sources—from publications by overseas NGOs and Christian advocacy organizations, church newsletters and state media, to grassroots fieldwork—this chapter argues that Christian resistance in Xi Jinping’s China takes many forms, and that resistance to the anti-cross campaign in particular illustrates the growing assertiveness and organizational capacity of religious believers, who draw on local, national and international allies in seeking to defend church interests.
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