Carsten T. Vala

Carsten T. Vala

Carsten T. Vala is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland. He published a book on the rise and fall of public house churches like Beijing Shouwang church in 2017 (The Politics of Protestant Churches and the Party-State in China: God Above Party?), and has written a number of articles on church-state relations, Protestants and patriotism, the Bible hand-copying movement, Protestant seminary politics, and other issues in China.

Lead Article

The Three-Self Patriotic Movement

Divergent Perspectives and Grassroots Realities

Vala addresses the history of TSPM churches and the distinction between them and house churches. He looks at their relationship over past years and describes what is happening with both today.

Supporting Article

How China’s Religious Affairs Bureaucracy Works

The author helps us to understand the workings of the religious affairs bureaucracy first by following the story of an aspiring pastor, then by viewing them historically. The Chinese Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement Association, China Christian Council, Religious Affairs Bureau and United Front Work Department are all discussed along with how they interact, lines of authority and the role of guanxi.