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3 The Christian Century of South China: Church, State, and Community in Chaozhou (1860–1990)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the emergence of Chinese Christian communities in the Chaozhou-speaking region of Guangdong (GMD) 廣東 province along the South China coast. The period under discussion begins from the Protestant missionary expansion into Chaozhou in the mid-nineteenth century, to the end of state-initiated religious persecution in the Maoist era. This Christian century of Chaozhou was characterized by a complex reciprocal movement involving Chinese Christians and Western missionaries. The chapter also discusses how the Christians regarded themselves as part of a transnational religious movement, and how they established themselves as effective stewards of local community interests. This is followed by a critique of the expansion of state power in the Anti-Christian Movement in the mid-1920s, and the Three- Self Patriotic Movement in the 1950s. The chapter examines a wide range of religious resources and survival strategies that the Christians employed to deal with tensions with the state.

Keywords: Chaozhou; Chinese Christian communities; Guangdong (GMD); Protestant missionary; South China coast; transnational religious movement



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