When Religious Freedom Was Under Attack: A Study of Four Christians’ Responses in Modern China

  • Zhifeng ZhongEmail author


In this chapter, I have selected two Chinese Christians, Mingdao Wang and Y. T. Wu, and two missionaries Hudson Taylor and Timothy Richard to illustrate Christian leaders’ various approaches to ensuring religious freedom protection. Theology, political capital and personal experiences of church-state encounters are used to examine their various positions on protection of rights as regards religious freedom. The study shows turning to political authorities was a common approach for addressing these rights. Both Richard and Taylor believed without external pressure, the Chinese officials would not stop their hostility, nor will they take any action to protect religious rights. Both Wu and Wang considered the state as a potential helper who can turn to because they believed there was common ground between Christianity and Communism. Theology played a very limited role in shaping their approaches. In contrast, political capital and previous experiences in church-state encounters had a much larger impact.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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