The Importance of Gathering Together: Religious Land Use in the United States and China

  • Jennifer E. Walsh
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy book series (PSRPP)


Both China and the United States constitutionally affirm religious freedom. While these two states have developed radically different relationships with their religious communities, they have one concern in common: land and buildings. Local authorities tend to allocate land in ways that maximize profits, jobs, and revenue. Despite constitutional protections, congregations often feel vulnerable when local officials have the authority to deny their requests to meet in a particular location, lease or buy property, or expand their facilities. In the United States, both statutory and case law in recent years have provided more protection for religious property rights, but not yet in China. Might addressing these land use issues provide some breakthroughs that religious freedom advocates are seeking, within and beyond China?


China and United States church buildings land use property rights religious freedom 


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© Jennifer E. Walsh 2014

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  • Jennifer E. Walsh

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