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Chapter Summary

The 'patriotic' churches - both Catholic and Protestant - are Christian organisations recognised and supervised by the state, and they are a key element in the history of religion in China since 1949. They should be understood in the context of communist theory and practice with regard to religion. This chapter discusses the evolution of communist policies on religion, and then examines in greater detail the "patriotic" churches themselves. The question of religious freedom in China - whether it exists, and if so, to what degree and within what parameters - has been a focus of contention since the Communist Party assumed power in 1949, and it is generating as much attention now as it has at any point in the past sixty years.

Keywords: China; churches; communist policies



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