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Bypassing the Party-State?

The implications of urban Protestant growth in China

Protestantism has grown rapidly in China over the past 30 years. There are now an estimated 50 million or more believers. By 2030 China could overtake the United States as the country with the world’s largest Christian population, with over 200 million predicted adherents. In recent years, Protestantism has flourished amongst educated urbanites in particular. MERICS Visiting Academic Fellow Phil Entwistle interviewed around 100 Protestants and non-Protestant Chinese in Beijing and Shenzhen to analyse their motivations and views on modern urban life. He found out that it is a perception of a moral crisis in the Chinese society that pushes urbanites to search for alternative sources of meaning, comfort and community beyond those offered by mainstream society or the party-state. Protestantism has become a viable alternative, especially for young Chinese.

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