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The Failure of the Campaign to Demolish Church Crosses in Zhejiang Province, 2013–2016 (浙江省2013-2016强拆教堂十字架运动的失败:一个时空分析)

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A Temporal and Spatial Analysis

image of Review of Religion and Chinese Society

In 2013, the Zhejiang government initiated a campaign to demolish church crosses (DCC) throughout the province in the name of landscape improvement. In April 2016, the campaign was abruptly and quietly halted. The termination of the campaign was primarily due to unremitting resistance by Christians in Zhejiang. This article provides a temporal and spatial analysis of the DCC campaign that reveals multiple failures on the part of the Zhejiang authorities, including missing several self-imposed deadlines to remove all church crosses in the province, inconsistently implementing the campaign in various regions, and causing the breakdown of the bridging mechanism between Christian churches and the party-state. The failure of the DCC campaign is an important empirical case for studies of religion and Chinese society. It indicates that the church-state equilibrium in China may be approaching a tipping point.自2013年底开始,浙江政府以美化环境的名义发动了拆除全省教堂十字架的运动。到2016年的4月,该运动悄然停止。这场运动之所以半途而终,主要是由于浙江基督徒坚持不懈的抵抗。本文通过对强拆教堂十字架运动的时间与空间分析,展示浙江政府在此运动中的多种失败,包括多次错过自定的拆除全省所有十字架的截止日期,各地在贯彻执行省政府命令中的力度差异,以及基督徒教会与党国沟通的桥梁机制遭到破坏。强拆十字架运动的失败是研究宗教与中国社会的一个重要的实证案例,该案例预示着中国的政教关系或许正在趋近一个动态平衡的临界点。

Affiliations: 1: Center on Religion and Chinese Society, Purdue University, fyang@purdue.edu

10.1163/22143955-00501002
/content/journals/10.1163/22143955-00501002
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2018-05-12
2018-10-17

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