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The Cross under the Red Flag

Author: LiuJianPing
Tutor: YangKuiSong
School: East China Normal University
Course: Modern Chinese History
Keywords: New China new political power of the Chinese Communist Party the Chinese Protestantism the Chinese Catholicism "the three-self improving movement
CLC: B977
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 715
Quote: 0
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Abstract


After People’s Republic of China was founded in October 1949, the consolidation of newborn political power was the first and foremost concern for the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism, organizations closely connected with western countries and completely antagonistic to atheistic party ideologically, naturally became one major field to be transformed and controlled by the new regime. However, considering the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism characterized with mass and internationality as well as the failure of public anti-religion in Soviet Union and other factors, the Communist did not announce these two organizations as hostile forces or had any public attack, but permitted religious activities under the guidance of "Freedom of Belief. Meanwhile, the communist made great effort to guide and promote improving movement aiming at completely cutting off the link of the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism with the Western world by the "three-self in the history of the China Church. Through this, the government successfully broke off the ties of the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism with the Western world to consolidate the new regime, and completed the initial transformation of the Church in China, which, basically, controlled the impact of this special area on the regime’s security. The transformation resulted in serious contraction and obvious division in the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism.This dissertation consists of seven parts: introduction, five chapters and conclusion.The part of introduction briefs the content, states the method and significance of the research, reviews the research background at home and abroad, and defines several key concepts.Chapter 1 starts with the originality of the western religion policy of the Communist Party of China, analyzes the impact of traditional Chinese anti-ideology, Marxism-Leninism and the religious policy of the Soviet Union on the communists.Chapter 2 angles the contradictions between New China’s domestic and foreign policies and the church power, discusses the formation process of western religion policy of New China, then focuses on the fact that New China launched the "three-self improving movement in order to completely cut off the connection between the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism and the Western world.Chapter 3 emphasizes the elaboration of an overall cleaning up by the new regime of the connection between the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism and western countries. After China’s intervention in the Korean War, urgent crisis awareness brings about a gradual radical policy on Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism. Under such circumstances, the Government began an all-round cleaning up of the connection between Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism and western countries in order to prevent any possible domestic destruction made by imperialist nations headed by the USA, for example, many measures are taken such as complaining the church evil, expelling foreign missionaries, cutting off any allowance offered by western countries. Chapter 4 mainly analyzes several major struggles by the government to further "purify" the Church. Considerable progress has been achieved in the "three-self improving movement under the guidance and promotion of the government, but there still existed resistance against the movement within the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism. In order to further promote the "three-self improving movement to completely cut off ties of the Chinese Church with the western world, from the beginning of the second half of 1955, the government launched two "eliminating counter-revolutionary movements" to further "purify" the Church, so that the government completely downed the two forces against the improving movement.Chapter 5 states the influence of new China’s religion policy on Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism. After a series of measures, the new China rooted their power and influence deeply into the Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism, which changed the existence of Protestantism and Catholicism originally having a strong western characteristics in China. Therefore, in the process of transformation, Chinese churches dwindled and differentiated.This research draws a conclusion that the religious policy of the new regime was extremely complex and full of internal tension. First of all, the religious policy established during the early period of the new government was successfully carried out through the "anti-imperialism" to completely cut off the link between Chinese Church and the western world, and through the "three-self improving movement to innovate the Church, so that the Church in China was completely separated from the western world and under the tight control of the new regime. Secondly, although the religion was incompatible with the ideology of communism, the government, considering United Front, still allowed its followers to enjoy the "freedom of belief". At the same time, the government proposed some effective measures, namely so-called "reduced (the two Churches) market" and "restriction (the two Churches) to develop" policies for the restrictions on the development of Chinese Protestantism and Catholicism, which made the policies on Catholicism and Protestantism very complex. Thirdly, the policy on Catholicism and Protestantism during the early period of the new government had great influence on the communists and the Chinese Church. Under this policy, the communists completely cut off the ties of Chinese Church with the western world, and accomplished the initial transformation of the two Churches in the "three-self improving movement. However, on the side of the Chinese Churches, the situation was completely different.

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