Like everything else about China, the landscape of religious life is quite complicated. On paper, the Chinese government, through its constitution and body of regulations, allows space for religious activities of the five legally recognized religions: Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholic Christianity, and Protestant Christianity. In reality, however, religious practice, while being legal, is tightly managed by the Party-state. Despite the restrictions, which have been tightening over the past few years, religious life continues to flourish. Take some time to explore the complexity of religion in China.
The new, more restrictive environment in China is impacting local believers, as well as the foreign Christian workers who are serving alongside their Chinese brothers and sisters. New regulations and stricter enforcement are making things more difficult for local believers, leading to an overall increase in harassment and persecution. Foreign Christian workers are also coming under more scrutiny. Yet God continues to build his church in China. In Habakkuk 2:14, we are reminded that God is in control. “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas.” This is happening in China, despite difficult circumstances.
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Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul …View Full Bio
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