Winter 2013

Resource Corner

Regulations on Religious Affairs

国家宗教事务局-- Decree of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China No. 426

Becoming familiar with China’s regulations on religious affairs can provide an official reference point for informed discussion on this issue.

Book Reviews

Closing a Perception/Reality Gap

A Book Review

Religious Freedom in China: Policy, Administration, and Regulation; A Research Handbook by Kim-kwong Chan and Eric R. Carlson
Reviewed by Brent Fulton

This volume provides reliable information about religious policy and its implementation in China. 

Peoples of China

House Church Attitudes towards Government Authorities

ChinaSource recently asked six leaders of house churches, in various parts of the country, about the current environment that affects their practice of religion in their location. Their responses, detailing the environment as well as their attitudes towards the local authorities and the issue of registration, are expressed in this article.

View From the Wall

Pastoring in a Registered Church

A ChinaSource interview conducted by Kay Danielson

In a recent interview, a pastor of a church, located in a rural district of a northern city in China, speaks about the congregation, its steady growth, its relationship with government officials, the challenges it faces and his responsibilities.

Supporting Article

The Present Condition of Christianity and Religious Regulations in China

Huang Jianbo looks at China's basic understanding of religion which affects the formulation and execution of its religious policies. To date, the state has believed that religion is a problem although it has never explicitly stated what kind of problem. The author identifies three possible ways in which the government might perceive religion to be a problem. He then offers three suggestions for altering the thinking and implementing of policies. He concludes by affirming religious policies in China have improved greatly over the past thirty years.

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.

Lead Article

Religious Policies in China

Defining Normal

As this article looks at the three key government documents that address religion in China, it focuses on the use of the word "normal." It looks at the definition of normal, the restrictions the government regulations actually place and the thinking that undergirds the regulations. The principals underlying them are discussed as well as the distinction between belief and practice.


Understanding the Complexity


The guest editor's point of view