mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
China to God: Watch Your Step

Religion is a touchy subject for the Chinese government; an independent source of social cohesion that stands outside the state worries a government concerned about keeping an increasingly rambunctious society stable.

In recent weeks (here and here), Catholics have found themselves on the wrong side of Chinese authorities. This week, a leader of one of China’s increasingly vocal underground Protestant churches was locked up and his church’s resources confiscated.

The Christians aren’t the only ones that are in trouble. China’s leaders don’t get along all that well with some of their country’s Muslims and Buddhists as well.

On Via Meadia’s last check, Rastafarians, Wiccans and Jews have managed to stay out of trouble.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Jim.

    Look, if they don’t want truly weird ideas like the Tai Pings cropping up, supporting churches with established orthodoxy is a good thing, not a bad thing.

    Chinese leaders should look (once again) to European history for guidance – the Investiture Controversy’s resolution was a stable one. And if they don’t want to find themselves as contrite supplicants waiting barefoot in the snow for the Church’s forgiveness, they’d be best advised to jump to the solution (which would, truly, benefit all of China).

    The bloody Catholic / Protestant conflicts had also been resolved (apart from the nationalist ones such as Ireland) by the middle of the 17th century, and non-bloody conflict resolved in England by the 1830s, and elsewhere in Europe sometime between the two dates. The fears of modern hordes of bloody-handed Christians, or Christian tyrants, are basically a bogeyman designed to scare schoolchildren (all the way up through college) into rejecting religion.

    The Chinese are more intelligent than that, it seems, with the news of their intelligentsia adopting Christianity in large numbers. It should be clear that if the social lessons of European history can be learned as well as the industrial lessons of Europe were learned, Christianity can be embraced in China with care but without concern by China’s population and leadership.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service