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Protestants and the state in post-Mao China Dunch, Ryan 1991

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PROTESTANTS AND THE STATE IN POST-MAO CHINA by RYAN DUNCH BA. (Asian Studies)(Hons), The Australian National University, 1986. A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (History) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard: THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1991 ®Ryan Dunch, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis . for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ii ABSTRACT In 1979, the Chinese Communist Party restored its policy of freedom of religion. The intention of this policy was to bring religious movements which had spread underground under the suppression of the Maoist era back under state control. This was to be accomplished through the "patriotic religious organizations," which would be coopted institution accepting party leadership over religion. In the case of Protestants, however, this policy did not succeed in accomplishing the state's objectives, as unsupervised Protestant activities and unwelcome attempts by foreign Protestant groups to play a role in the evangelization of China persisted over the decade. These and more general factors led to a growing desire on the part of the state to strengthen control over Protestant religious activities, but the state's efforts to strengthen control served to undermine the credibility of the TSPM/CCC with Protestant believers, contributing to the failure of the strategy of cooption to unite Protestants under a single institutional structure. At the same time, Protestant leaders were becoming increasingly frustrated with the state's intrusions into religious life, and were seeking to have a sphere of autonomy for the church recognized by the state. By 1990, Protestant leaders were pressing for the state to encode the separation of church and state in law, while the state was more anxious than ever in the post-Tiananmen domestic and international climate to tighten its control over the church, and over society in general. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii List of Abbreviations iv Acknowledgements v Chapter One: Introduction and Overview 1 Chapter Two: The Failure of Cooption 17 Chapter Three: The Protestant Quest for Legitimacy 56 Chapter Four: Conclusion 92 Newspapers and Periodicals Referred to 104 Bibliography 106 * * * * * ABBREVIATIONS iv Sources: BR CATW CCT CNCR CPL CQ CSPJ CTR Documentation FBIS-CHI FE FEER JPRS-CHI NNI SCMP TF ZGTZJ ZYJ Institutions: CASS CCC CC CCP CGST CPPCC NPC OMF PPCC RAB TSPM UFWD Beijing Review Chinese Around The World China and the Church Today China News and Church Report China Prayer Letter China Quarterly China Study Project Tournal Chinese Theological Review Religion in the People's Republic of China: Documentation Foreign Broadcast Information Services: Daily Report - China BBC Summary of World Broadcasts: Far East Far Eastern Economic Review Joint Publications Research Service: Daily Report - China News Network International South China Morning Post Tian feng Zhongguo Tianzhujiao  Zhongguo yu jiaohui Chinese Academy of Social Sciences China Christian Council Christian Council (of subnational units) Chinese Communist Party China Graduate School of Theology (Hong Kong) Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National People's Congress Overseas Missionary Fellowship People's Political Consultative Conference (of subnational units) Religious Affairs Bureau Three-Self Patriotic Movement United Front Work Department ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v This thesis is indebted to many people. My study of the Protestant church in contemporary China began in 1987, when I joined the staff of the Chinese Church Research Centre in Hong Kong. During my two and one half years at the Centre, I learned a great deal from my Chinese and Western colleagues, in particular Richard van Houten and Jonathan Chao. Others in Hong Kong also helped shape my thinking, most notably Tony Lambert of the OMF China Program. Thanks are also due to those who have taught or advised me during the last two years at UBC. Professor Edgar Wickberg was a thoughtful and stimulating teacher, and his comments on an earlier presentation of the material of this thesis helped greatly to clarify my approach to it. Professor Daniel Overmyer taught me something of the complexity of Chinese religion, while from Professor Allan Smith I learned something of what "history" is or should be. The encouragement of my thesis supervisor, Professor Alexander Woodside, has helped me to get to the end of an arduous few months. My colleague Wing Chung Ng has given generously of his time in reading and commenting on drafts of the main chapters, and his input has contributed to the final form those chapters have taken. The careful proofreading of drafts of chapters one and two by another colleague, Ross Penner, was also greatly appreciated. Lastly, the patience of my wife, Cynthia Gracey Dunch, as the summer months have slipped by, has been far more than I deserve. Naturally I accept all responsibility for any remaining errors, inconsistencies, or infelicities of expression. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW Among the many changes that have swept China since 1979, one of the most startling is the resurgence of religious life in all its variety. In a nation which was proclaimed "religionless" by Jiang Qing in the late 1960s, the government now acknowledges the existence of over 100 million religious believers, including 20 million Moslems, 5 million Protestants (there were about 1 million in 1949), 3 million Catholics, and 80 million Buddhists and Taoists. These official figures probably considerably understate the real numbers, as there are strong movements of Catholics and Protestants who remain apart from the officially-recognized bodies for those religions, and the counts for each religion are complicated by problems of definition. In the case of Buddhism, for instance, does one include only monastic personnel, or those plus lay devotees (jushi), or all who worship at any time in Buddhist temples? When one considers in addition the revival of Chinese popular religion (one scholar estimates that 30,000 community temples and shrines have been rebuilt in Fujian province alone), it becomes clear that public religious activities are once again playing a major role in the life of the Chinese people.1 Scholarly attention is just beginning to be paid to these developments, mostly by anthropologists and religious studies scholars focusing on Buddhism, Taoism and popular religion.2 Field study on religion in China is still very difficult to arrange, 1 The estimate is from Kenneth Dean, "Taoist Ritual and Popular Cults of Southeast China" (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1990), p. 4. 2 For example, see Helen F. Siu, "Recycling Rituals: Politics and Popular Culture in Contemporary Rural China," in Perry Link, Richard Madsen, and Paul G. Pickowicz, eds., Unofficial China: Popular  Culture and Thought in the People's Republic (Boulder: Westview, 1989), pp. 121-137; Julian F. Pas, 2 however, and overseas scholars are a long way yet from forming a substantial picture of religious life in post-Mao China. The subject is sensitive within China, as will be seen more clearly in the course of this thesis, and much of the solid field investigation that has been done by various Chinese research institutes remains unavailable to foreign researchers.3 In general, this is the situation for Christianity in China, also. The University of Leeds began a research project on Christianity in contemporary China with an international conference in March of 1990, which is an indication that the remarkable growth of Christianity in post-Mao China is beginning to attract interest in the academic world.4 Generally speaking, though, little work of an academic nature has yet been done. This is not to say that the flourishing of Christianity in China has gone unnoticed, however. As we shall see, it has become an issue of great concern to the Chinese government. It has also been closely followed by Christian agencies outside of China, both in Hong Kong and overseas. It is on the profusion of material produced in the Chinese official press and by these agencies that this study ed., The Turning of the Tide: Religion in China Today (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and Oxford University Press, 1989). 3 The Institute of Religious Studies of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, which considers itself "post-Marxist," has placed a particular emphasis on field study. See David Yu, "Religious Studies in China at Crossroads," Tournal of Chinese Religions 18 (1990), 167-172. A small sample of the work of this institute was published in Luo Zhufeng, ed., Zhongguo shehui zhuvi shiqi de zongjiao  wenti (Shanghai: Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, 1987), translated as Religion Under Socialism  in China by Donald E. Maclnnis and Zheng Xi'an (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1991). 4 See Edmond Tang, "Leeds Conference on China and Christianity," CSPT 5:2 (1990), pp. 23-24. A sociologist, Dr. Alan Hunter, has been posted by the university to Hong Kong and China for 1990-92. 3 largely relies.5 The nature of this material varies greatly. In the case of Protestant Christianity, on which this study concentrates, the church organizations (the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council) produce a monthly journal, Tian feng (Heavenly Wind), with a circulation of around 50,000, and a less frequent theological journal, the linling shenxue zhi (Nanjing Theological Review). These give insight into the thinking of the upper levels of the Protestant hierarchy, as well as some information on local church life. Outside China, there are groups which enjoy good relations with the Three Self Patriotic Movement leadership and groups which do not. In the former category are the China programs of "mainline" denominations and Councils of Churches in Canada, the U.S.A., and Britain, plus the important Christian Study Center on Chinese Religion and Culture in Hong Kong. The publications of these groups contain translations from the Chinese secular and religious press, other statements by Three-Self Movement leaders, and articles more or less reflecting the perspective of those leaders.6 A somewhat different type of publication is the Hong 5 An important collection of materials from the Chinese press is Donald E. Maclnnis, Religion in  China Today: Policy and Practice (New York: Orbis, 1989). 6 Particularly important for this study is the triannual journal of translations from the Chinese press, China Study Project Tournal (formerly Religion in the People's Republic of China:  Documentation), published by the China Study Project attached to the British Council of Churches. In citing sources for this study, when I have made use of the translations in this journal (or other sources which publish translations from the Chinese media), I have cited the English title as translated, the name and date of the original Chinese source (without page numbers), and the location of the translation. In cases where the original Chinese text has been referred to directly, the full Chinese citation is given, with the locations of any translations known of by me given thereafter. In other words, if the Chinese title of an article is cited, the Chinese text has been used. 4 Kong bimonthly Bridge, which prints detailed field reports on local church life all over China. The groups which do not enjoy good relations are those which consider themselves "China ministry" groups. These are mostly non-denominational and evangelical, and they include Gospel radio stations, mission agencies, individual churches in Hong Kong, and research centres. In general they reflect the viewpoint of conservative Protestants within China who refuse to relate, or relate only marginally, to the Three-Self Movement. The publications of such groups give information on local church life in China, but often with little specificity due to the perceived need to protect the identities of those within China with whom they are in contact. They report on the harassment or imprisonment of Christians in China, and have also obtained and published a number of important internally-circulated Chinese government or Three-Self Movement documents. All of these sources have their value for studying Protestant Christianity in China, as long as their respective slants and limitations are recognized.7 Of the many possible questions about the contemporary Chinese Protestant scene, however, few can be answered with rigour from these diverse sources. One can derive a general picture of who the believers are, in which parts of the country they are particularly numerous, and how in general their religious faith is expressed. 7 For more on sources, see Jonathan Chao, ed., The China Mission Handbook: A Portrait of China  and its Church (Hong Kong: Chinese Church Research Center, 1989), pp. 213-223; Philip L. Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground: Protestant Christianity, the Three-Self Movement, and China's United  Front (New York: Orbis, 1988), pp. xxiv-xxvi; David H. Adeney, China: The Church's Long March (Ventura and Singapore: Regal Books and Overseas Missionary Fellowship, 1985), pp. 251-254. 5 Although the church has been growing in the cities as well, the majority of Chinese Protestants are in rural China, where the church membership is composed of the "four manys": many old people, many women, many sick and many illiterate.8 For many of these believers, Jesus is perceived in much the same terms as the deities of Chinese popular religion, as a source from which to seek healing for illness and other supernatural help.9 In doctrine, most Chinese Protestants have a strong millenarian faith and a literal belief in the Bible.10 The prevailing low educational level means that unorthodox beliefs derived from Christianity can spread easily.11 Their religious life consists of long congregational worship meetings, often held several times per week in rural areas, in which preaching and prayer are heavily emphasized. As far as numbers are concerned, Protestants are most numerous in the central coast provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, and in Henan/Anhui on the central China plain and Guizhou/Yunnan in the southwest.12 Protestantism has grown swiftly since the 1970s, mostly through the activities of itinerant evangelists 8 See Bao Zhimin, "Facing Reality and Responding to Challenges: On Ten Years of Chinese Church Reconstruction," Jinling shenxue zhi 10 (Jun 1989), in CTR (1989), p. 3. 9 On the central place of healing, exorcism and miracles in the belief of Chinese Protestants, especially in the countryside, see Alan Hunter, "A Sociological Perspective on Chinese Christianity," Bridge 44 (Nov-Dec 1990), pp. 16-19; Paul Varo Martinson, "The Protestant Church in Post-Mao China: Two Paradigms," Ching Feng 31:1 (1988), pp. 14-15. 1 0 See Hunter, "A Sociological Perspective." For insights into the development of Chinese forms of Protestant fundamentalism in the early twentieth century, see two unpublished papers by Daniel H. Bays, "Christian Revivalism in China, 1900-1937' (April 1989), and "Indigenous Protestant Churches in China, 1900-1937: A Case Study from the Pentecostal Sector" (August 1988). 1 1 See Ron MacMillan, "Heresy: The Soft Underbelly of the Chinese Revival," NNI Special Report, 6/8/90, pp. 1-8; Tang Rongtao, "Refresher Courses in Guizhou," TF No. 2 (1988), extracts in CSPT 3:2 (1988), pp. 59-60. 1 2 See Anthony P.B. Lambert, "Counting Christians in China: Who's Right?" NNI 14/4/89, p. 35. 6 in rural China, and it is widely believed that the official figure of five million greatly understates the real number of Protestant believers in the country; the most thorough attempt to date to estimate the number has come up with a total of around 20 million.13 Although this general picture is clear, consistent data for Protestant Christianity in particular regions over time are scarce. An area which is illuminated by the available sources, however, is the uneasy relationship between the Protestant church structures and the Chinese government. This relationship and the changes in it between 1979 and 1990 are the subject of this thesis. The church structures in question are the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council, which according to Chinese Communist Party policy are the bodies responsible, under the leadership of the Religious Affairs Bureau of the state (which is in turn under the jurisdiction of the United Front Work Department of the CCP), for managing Protestant religious life.14 The leaders of these organizations, therefore, stand in between the state and Protestant believers, with responsibilities to both. The state holds them responsible for the political loyalty ("patriotism") and orderly conduct of Protestant believers, while Protestant believers expect them to stand up 1 3 Lambert, "Counting Christians in China," pp. 28-36. For the purposes of this thesis, the much-disputed question of the number of Protestants in China is less important than the state's perception of the situation. 1 4 The Three-Self Patriotic Movement was formally constituted in 1954, on a platform of anti-imperialism and the self-government, self-support and self-propagation of the Chinese church (the "three selves"). The China Christian Council was established in 1980 in an effort to counteract the political image accumulated by the TSPM in the 1950s and 1960s. In practice, however, the two bodies functioned jointly during the 1980s, and they are often referred to in this thesis as the TSPM/CCC. 7 for Christian tenets in running the church. This thesis is not, then, a history of Christianity in post-Mao China as such. Rather, it is a history of the relationship between the Three-Self Patriotic Movement leadership and the state; in a sense, then, a case study of a particular type of state/ society relationship in post-Mao China. The focus is not on post-Mao Protestantism conceived in religious terms, interesting and important though that would be to study, but on the more limited issue of the political context of Chinese Protestantism.15 Why is this topic worthy to be seen as significant to scholars of China, and why in particular should it be seen as worthy of historical study? In the first place, the protest movement of 1989 underlined for Western scholars of China the extent to which different social groups and institutions in China had cut loose from their ideological and authoritarian moorings since the initiation of economic reforms in 1979. All institutions in China, not just the Protestant leaders, are expected to uphold CCP leadership, but many started to carve out their own domains over the 1980s, even while maintaining the rhetoric of upholding party leadership. Andrew Nathan, borrowing an image from the Chinese writer Liu Binyan, has likened the growth of "civil society" in China to a chick growing within the eggshell of totalistic political control: Every publication, every research institute, every enterprise in China is protectively Tiooked' into the party's control network ... Yet the people who operate the control network no longer have faith in the 1 5 At this point, only sustained field observation free of political constraints would make writing a history of Chinese Protestantism as a religious movement possible. As the remainder of this study will show, such observation is unlikely to be possible in the foreseeable future, due to the same political realities limit the usefulness of each of the published sources, as mentioned above. 8 ideology. As a consequence, publications and institutes are increasingly operating as independent social forces, including not only those set up outside the party and subsequently hooked into it, but also those set up by the party itself, such as the research institutes of the Academy of Social Sciences and the theory department of the People's Daily.16 Other writers have, however, stressed the limitations on this process; Timothy Cheek, for example, has warned of "our propensity to overestimate the reform spirit in China," and posits a "deal" between China's intellectuals and the state that has remained intact even after the June 4 massacre.17 In examining the relationship between the Protestant church bodies and the government from 1979, we shall see how these bodies have sought to articulate ever more openly and strongly the interests of the church, interests that are not identical to, and may even conflict with, those of the state. We shall form some idea of the pressures in the church/state relationship that have generated this process, the ways in which the state's approach to Protestants also altered between 1979 and 1990, and the limits of the changes that occurred. As an example of the way in which social institutions in China have begun to define and represent themselves as distinct from 1 6 Andrew J. Nathan, China's Crisis: Dilemmas of Reform and Prospects for Democracy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), pp. 120,122. For a discussion of the growth of "civil society" in China stressing institutions, see Thomas B. Gold, "The Resurgence of Civil Society in China," Tournal of Democracy (Winter 1990), pp. 18-31; for one stressing individual psychology, see Orville Schell, "The Re-emergence of the Realm of the Private in China," in George Hicks, ed. The Broken  Mirror: China after Tiananmen (Harlow, Essex: Longman, 1990), pp. 419-27. The danger of these discussions is that we will locate all change after 1979; for a reminder of the existence of "unofficial" society in China before 1979, see e.g. Perry Link, "Hand-copied Entertainment Fiction from the Cultural Revolution," in Link, Madsen, and Pickowicz, eds., Unofficial China, pp. 17-36. 1 7 "From Priests to Professionals: Intellectuals and the State under the OCP," in E. Perry and J. Wasserstrom, eds., Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China: Learning from 1989 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991 forthcoming). 9 the party/state, it is hoped that this study will be at least suggestive to those who study other aspects of Chinese society. In addition to its contemporary significance, this topic is historically significant as a part of the continuing story of the relationship between religion and the state in China, as well as being part of the history of Christianity in China. While most existing accounts of the post-Mao church, coming as they have from Christians writing as theologians or missiologists for religious publishers and readers, have been set in the second of these dimensions, the first is the primary concern of this thesis.18 It has long been recognized that the political ideology of the Chinese state as it developed over the long centuries of the imperial era, and particularly during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644,1644-1911 respectively) did not acknowledge any sphere of autonomy or inherent legitimacy for either institutional religions or the various religious beliefs and practices which we subsume under the rubric of "popular religion." In contrast to the situation which developed in parts of early modern Europe, the right of the state to define the permissible social roles of religion, and the permissible types of religion, was seen as beyond question in late imperial China.19 Typical representatives of the state saw all non-Confucian religious life as a potential threat to their power to define 1 8 Many such works are listed in the bibliography; two examples, the titles of which rather neatly sum up the Christian history perspective, are Adeney's China: The Church's Long March and Bob Whyte's Unfinished Encounter: China and Christianity (London: Fount Paperbacks, 1988). 1 9 See C.K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961); Daniel L. Overmyer, "Attitudes Toward Popular Religion in Ritual Texts of the Chinese State: The  Collected Statutes of the Great Ming," Cahiers d'Extreme Asie, forthcoming (1991), 225-255; Ryan Dunch, "Religion and the State in China Under Three Regimes" (unpublished paper, April 1991). 10 social meaning. Thus, the state adopted a number of measures which, although seldom implemented in practice, were intended to define a limited zone of tolerance for religion in Chinese society. The institutional religions, Buddhism and Taoism, were regulated through laws which required the registration of religious personnel and religious establishments, and made a select group of Buddhist and Taoist clergy responsible to the bureaucracy for keeping religious affairs in order.20 As far as popular religion was concerned, the state attempted to coopt important communal cults by bringing their deities into the hierarchy of the official pantheon.21 Lay sectarian groups were liable to suppression.22 In the twentieth century, this historical legacy intersected with the modernizing zeal and the attempts at state-building of the Kuomintang regime, which in its May Fourth-inspired exaltation of "science" viewed all religions as "superstition."23 In a series of laws adopted between 1928 and 1932, the Kuomintang government legislated for the suppression of the whole gamut of Chinese popular religion, and defined a sphere of tolerance for institutional 2 0 See J.J.M. de Groot, Sectarianism and Religious Persecution in China (Amsterdam: Johannes Muller, 1903-1904; reprinted Taipei: Cheng Wen, 1970). 2 1 See James L. Watson, "Standardizing the Gods: The Promotion of T'ien Hou (_mpress of Heaven') Along the South China Coast, 960-1960," in David Johnson, Andrew J. Nathan, and Evelyn S. Rawski, eds., Popular Culture in Late Imperial China (Berkeley: University of Califonia Press, 1985), pp. 292-324. 2 2 See Daniel L. Overmyer, Folk Buddhist Religion: Dissenting Sects in Late Traditional China (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976); Susan Naquin, Millenarian Rebellion in China: The  Eight Trigrams Uprising of 1813 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976). 2 3 With the intermittent exception of the Christianity of the West, which was, however, becoming identified with Western imperialism in the minds of many Chinese from the early 1920s. See Jessie G. Lutz, Chinese Politics and Christian Missions: The Anti-Christian Movements of 1920-1928 (Notre Dame: Cross Cultural Publications, 1988). 11 Buddhism and Taoism, applying the historic methods of registration and of tying monastic institutions into the government structure at the lowest (and most immediate) level.24 The Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949 with a fully articulated view of the nature and negative effects of religion, as an "opiate" impeding the development of the revolutionary consciousness of the masses, and in the case of Christianity in particular, as a tool used by the imperialist nations to exploit China. It set out on the one hand to eliminate Chinese popular religion completely, adding the term "feudal" to the Nationalists' "superstition" in its rejection of it. The five religions which the new government was prepared to recognize -Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism - were to be tolerated to the extent that they purified themselves of all imperialist and reactionary elements.25 Over the course of the 1950s, organizations led by "progressive" figures 2 4 See my unpublished paper cited above; Holmes Welch, The Buddhist Revival in China (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968); Prasenjit Duara, "Knowledge and Power in the Discourse of Modernity: The Campaigns Against Popular Religion in Early Twentieth-Century China," Tournal of Asian Studies 50:1 (1991), 67-83. The laws can be found in Zhomhua minzuo fazui  huibian ("Edited Laws and Regulations of the Republic of China"), (Shanghai: Zhonghua Shuju, 1933); see especially the long policy statement "Shenci cunfei biaozhun (Standards for the Retention or Abolition of Deities and Shrines)" in ibid., vol. 4, pp. 807-814. 2 5 For historical reasons, Protestant and Roman Catholic Christianity are treated as separate religions in China, and function separately also. There are some similarities between the Protestant and Catholic situations in post-Mao China; both have grown considerably under conditions of suppression (Catholics less rapidly than Protestants), and both contain strong elements opposed to the state-recognized church structures. Nevertheless, the differences are also considerable. The structural coherence of the Catholic church made it more difficult to bring under control in the 1950s (from the state's point of view), and even now the "patriotic" Catholic leaders seem less trusted by the state than their Protestant equivalents. The relationship of Catholics in China to those overseas is a more thorny problem than in the Protestant case, since it cannot be disentangled from the question of its relationship to the Vatican, which in turn relates to the political issue of the Vatican's diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China. The Catholic situation in post-Mao China is beyond the scope of this thesis; for information on it see Kim-Kwong Chan, Towards a Contextual  Ecclesiology: The Catholic Church in the PRC, Its Life and Theological Implications (Hong Kong: Chinese Church Research Center, 1987); Laszlo Ladany, The Catholic Church in China (New York: Freedom House, 1987); and the periodicals Asia Focus, China Update, and Tripod. 12 in each of the religions came to the fore, as the state gradually eliminated the previous national religious structures and religious publications, and moved against those who, by their refusal to cooperate with the new bodies, showed themselves to be "counter-revolutionary."26 Over the first two decades of the People's Republic, visible religious activity steadily diminished, and what remained was obliterated during the Cultural Revolution's campaign to destroy the "Four Olds." Thus, to observers in the early 1970s, it seemed that the long history of state suspicion of and hostility towards religion had culminated in its complete disappearance in China 2 7 It is now obvious that the suppression of religion and its replacement by ideology in China was temporary, and even illusory, as religious life continued in diffuse forms that were not visible through the lens of the official media throughout the Cultural Revolution decade. On an obvious level, the resurgence of visible religion stems directly from the state's decision to return to implementing the policy of "freedom of religious belief" from 1979. But is it simply the result of the lifting of state pressure on religions, a temporary oscillation rather than a fundamental break in the historical pattern, or is there something broader happening, a paradigm shift in the way in which the relationship of state to religion, and state to society, is conceived in China? Does the growth of religion in post-Mao China signal either that the right of the state to set the parameters for the religious life of the nation is no longer so widely assumed, or that religious believers will no longer accept that 2 6 For a detailed account of this period, see Richard C. Bush, Religion in Communist China (Nashville: Abingdon, 1970). 2 7 "Religion as an effective force seems to be all but nullified," wrote Bush in 1971; ibid., p. 10. 13 situation? These questions can only be answered by looking in detail at the relationship between the state and the religious institutions, as this study will do for Protestant Christianity. These issues are only a part of the wider question of the "reach of the state" in post-Mao China. Vivienne Shue has argued that the Deng Xiaoping regime has not really retracted the reach of the state into society from its Maoist extremes, but has rather, through rationalizing it, sought to extend that reach.28 She suggests that the cellularity of the local political economy under Mao placed significant constraints on the effective reach of the state into rural China, and that: ... the structural reforms and the substitute social ideals of the Deng Xiaoping coalition may serve not so much to weaken as to repackage and enhance governmental authority, even as it is claimed that their intent is to shorten the greedy reach of the state and loosen its grip on the peasantry.29 Although her focus is on the relationship of the upper levels of government to local rural cadres, this assertion is not without implications for the resurgence of religion in China. What did the state seek to achieve by allowing religion to function once more in Chinese society? Was it really a retraction of control, or rather an attempt to reassert control by institutional means? And regardless of the intentions of the state, what have the results been? It is questions like these which this study will attempt to answer, in the specific case of the TSPM/CCC in post-Mao China. In the first chapter, the state's 2 8 Shue, The Reach of the State: Sketches of the Chinese Body Politic (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), esp. pp. 6-7,119-121. 2 9 Ibid., p. 7. 14 approach to Protestant Christianity between 1979 and 1990 will be discussed. The goals that the state hoped to achieve through reimplementing the policy of religious freedom, and the difficulties encountered in achieving those goals, will be outlined. Over the decade, it is argued, in the face of the apparent failure of the TSPM/CCC to unite Chinese Protestants and prevent incursions by foreign Protestant groups into China, the state shifted from reliance on the TSPM leadership to attempts to strengthen its direct supervision of Protestant activities. The most important sources for this chapter are state policy documents, the speeches of state leaders, and articles in the state media which provide evidence of the state's perception of the Protestant situation.30 Other sources are used to illustrate the situation to which the state was reacting. The second chapter discusses the shift in public stance of the Three-Self Movement leadership away from all-out cooperation with the state to one of confrontation of the state on certain issues. This shift is attributed to the tensions inherent in the position prescribed for them by party policy, between their need to fulfil the role expected of them by the state and their need to appear legitimate in the eyes of Protestants. Paradoxically, while the failure of the TSPM/CCC to win the confidence of Protestants in China and abroad prompted the state to attempt to tighten its control over the churches, the state's resulting encroachments on Protestant life, by undermining the credibility of the TSPM/CCC with Protestant believers, were in large measure responsible for that failure. The most important 3 0 Some of these were published openly in China, and others are neibu (internal circulation) documents which found their way into print in Hong Kong. 15 sources for this chapter are the writings and speeches of Protestant leaders, although once again a variety of other sources is used for illustrative purposes. The term "state" is used rather imprecisely in this thesis, to refer to the formal administrative structure of the party and government, and those in it, at all levels. This is unsatisfactory and gives a misleading monolithic impression, but the sources do not often provide the means to break the process of decision-making on the handling of religion into its component parts, nor to pin down the regional variations in the handling of religion.31 The key distinction of relevance to this study, however, is between those who hold political authority and Protestant leaders and believers, who are under that authority. On this level the dichotomizing of the state and the Protestants can still be informative, provided that what Shue calls their "continuous, mutually conditioning interplay" is kept in mind.32 The inevitable need to "separate church and state" into two chapters in writing about them should not be interpreted to mean that the state is the primary actor, to which the church responds, or vice versa. Instead, both have responded to each other, and more importantly to the changing social reality of Protestant Christianity in China (along with international factors). The limits of the changes in the relationship between the TSPM/CCC and the state over the 1980s will be discussed in the concluding chapter. Essentially, it is 3 1 Clearly the Religious Affairs bureacracy is more liberal in some provinces than in others. Zhejiang is more liberal than Henan, for instance; see Philip L. Wickeri, "Christianity in Zhejiang: A Report from a Visit to Protestant Churches in China," China Notes 28:2-3 (1990), 576-580. 3 2 Shue, The Reach of the State, p. 27. 16 argued, the Three-Self leaders had not by 1990 broken fundamentally with their role as "loyal remonstrators" to the state. Their confrontation of the state had extended only to seeking a sphere of legitimacy for the church as an autonomous religious institution in society, and not to any broader dissenting role. Nevertheless, given that the state had not abandoned its assumed prerogative to dictate the parameters of toleration for religion, this quest for autonomy had taken the Protestant leaders significantly beyond the limits of their relationship to the state since 1949, and beyond what, as of 1990, the state seemed prepared to tolerate. The resulting situation was a fluid one in which previous social models were being pulled out of shape, and in which the state, faced with an increasingly self-confident and articulate group challenging it to relinquish certain aspects of its command over society, was searching instead for new ways to reassert its control. CHAPTER TWO: THE FAILURE OF COOPTION 17 INTRODUCTION: THE CHANGING CONTEXT OF CHRISTIANITY When it came to power in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party was (broadly speaking) united, fuelled by a dynamic vision, and supported by a solid base of mass support. In dealing with Chinese Protestants, the party was convinced it was dealing with a tiny minority whose numbers would steadily decrease as China moved under its guidance towards a society without "classes, state power, and political parties" - or religion.1 In the minds of China's new leaders, although Christianity was complicated by its intimate link with Western imperialism, once it had been purged of the foreign connections which sustained it and of the imperialists and reactionaries in its ranks, it would not pose any threat to the new state. Zhou Enlai exuded confidence when he told Chinese Christians in 1950, "... we think your beliefs untrue and false, therefore if we are right, the people will reject them, and your church will decay. If you are right, then the people will believe you, but as we are sure that you are wrong, we are prepared for that risk."2 Zhou's assurance appeared to be well-founded as church numbers declined over the 1950s and 1960s. The situation was vastly different in the late 1970s, however. The party had emerged from the decade of the Cultural Revolution deeply fractured and unclear about its direction. It faced a population exhausted and disillusioned by decades of the "reign of virtue and terror," and with little 1 For the quote, and a classic sample of CCP dynamism, see "On the People's Democratic Dictatorship," Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1975), Vol. 4, pp. 411-424. 2 Maclnnis, Religious Policy and Practice, p. 24. 18 confidence in either the party or in socialism.3 In this context, the apparently discrete question of how to handle the small minority of the population who adhered to Protestant Christianity actually touched on a very fundamental question facing the Chinese government in the 1980s, that of restoring the appeal of Marxism/Leninism/Mao Zedong Thought to a cynical population, and particularly to the young.4 For Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues, no less than for Mao before them, restoring the appeal of the party's ideology was essential not only for the regime's legitimacy in the present, but also for the survival of the "socialist enterprise" itself. In this situation Christianity and other religions could easily be regarded by the Communist Party as competitors for the ideological allegiance of present and future generations. Thus, while the bulk of this chapter addresses more limited questions (What specific problems was the state concerned about with respect to Protestant Christianity? How did it respond to those concerns?), the changing social climate in China as it related to Protestantism will first be sketched, since this was an important factor in shaping the state's attitude to Protestantism. It is likely that the state initially expected the patrons of the reopened churches to be a few believers left over from the old society.5 It soon became clear, 3 See Martin King Whyte and William L. Parish, Urban Life in Contemporary China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), pp. 371-376. The phrase is from p. 372. 4 For a discussion of this, see Stuart Schram, "Economics in Command: Ideology and Policy Since the Third Plenum, 1978-1984," CQ 99 (Sep. 1984), pp. 431-434. 5 This was the impression given by Three-Self Movement leaders interviewed up to 1979; see Jiang Wenhan's statements in CCT 1:5-6 (1979), p. 4. In the late 1980s, RAB cadres told some theological students that they should not bother studying for the ministry because religion was meant 19 however, that many of the worshippers flooding the opened churches (and other religious venues) were new converts, and this was a cause of considerable alarm to the state. A scholar of religion at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences testified to this in 1982 when he wrote, "among those currently taking part in religious activities, a large number came to religion during the Cultural Revolution period or during the last few years. Among the ... new religious believers in Shanghai, Protestants account for the greatest number and Buddhists are second ... Most of these new believers are retired workers and youth ... Some comrades trace the religious revival ... to the implementation of the religious policy and because of this they harbor doubts about that policy; they even resist it."6 The phenomenon of youth turning to religion was intertwined with what came to be termed the "crisis of faith" among China's young people after the Cultural Revolution.7 Of particular concern was the attraction of CCP and CYL members to religion.8 At least one article used rather extreme language, accusing religious bodies of "infiltrating" the Communist Party and reiterating that the policy of religious freedom should not be confused to mean that the party had abandoned to die out with the old people; see "The Problems of Theological Graduates in China," Bridge 34 (Mar-Apr 1989), pp. 3-7. 6 Xiao Zhitian, "Some Opinions on Present Religious Phenomena - Thoughts on Reading _ight Problems in Social Investigation'," Ching Feng 26:4 (1983), pp. 216-217, 219. 7 For religion and the "crisis of faith," see Pan Xiao, "Why is Life's Road Getting Narrower and Narrower?" in Helen F. Siu and Zelda Stern, eds., Mao's Harvest: Voices From China's New  Generation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), pp. 4-9; responses to Pan Xiao in David Ownby, guest editor and translator, "Changing Attitudes Among Chinese Youths: Letters to Zhongguo Qimnian" Chinese Sociology and Anthropology 17:4 (Summer 1985), pp. 34-112; my unpublished paper "Truth, Goodness and Beauty: Religion and Youth in Post-Revolutionary China," May 1990. 8 For the Communist Youth League in the 1980s, see Stanley Rosen, "Prosperity, Privatisation and China's Youth," Problems of Communism 36:2 (1985), pp. 1-28. 20 its "ideological struggle against religion."9 Expressions of official concern about the attraction of youth, intellectuals, and CCP or CYL members to religion continued to appear throughout the decade, and Protestant Christianity was singled out for mention in an increasing number of reports during the late 1980s.10 At the same time, of course, the ability of the state to inspire belief in its ideology, or even in its competence as a government, was dwindling; one need only look at the extent of urban support for the student demonstrations of 1989 to conclude that.11 In the post-Tiananmen era, winning the hearts of China's youth was more than ever an urgent issue for the regime. As a Chinese leader put it in 1991, "China's young people, numbering more than 500 million, represent the generation which spans this century and the next, and they are the hope and future of our motherland. We must fully recognize the extreme importance and urgency of fostering people to be builders and successors of our socialist cause ..."12 However, in the post-Tiananmen era, the interest of at least the urban population in that "socialist cause" is in serious doubt, and the state has seemed increasingly on 9 "Party and CYL Members Should Resist Religious Ideas," Fujian Daily 23/10/81, in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 78-80. See also articles in ibid, pp. 80-85, pp. 431-441. 1 0 E.g. see "Christianity Challenges Ideological Educators," Nanfem chuang No. 4 (1986), summary in Wenzhai bao 15/5/86 (FE 8269 27/5/86), in CSPT 1:2 (1986), p. 39; Su Shi, "'Yimaneili' yinqi de sikao (Thoughts Prompted by 'Emmanuel')," Zhomsuo qingnian bao 22/7/86; Wang Qi, "Xinling zhong de shizijia - lai zi jiaotang de baogao (The Cross Within the Heart - Report on a Church Visit)," Zhongguo funti 366 (Feb. 1989), pp. 22-25; Zheng Hui, "Paihui zai shengtan qian de shaonumen (Maidens Wavering Before the Altar)," Zhongguo funii 374 (Nov. 1989), pp. 26-29; "Interviewing a Scholar About God: Why Are There So Many Believers in China?" Tianjin Daily 18/2/89, repr. Dawns bao 8/3/89, in CSPT 4:2 (1989), pp. 76-77. 1 1 On the lack of appeal of ideology in the late 1980s, see Robert Delfs, "Helmsmen's Lost Bearings" and following articles, FEER, 27/10/88, pp. 36-40; Louise Branson, '"Me Generation' Takes Mao's Values to Task," SCMP 13/1/88. 1 2 Premier Li Peng to the NPC in March, 1991; in BR 34:15 (15-21 April, 1991), p. XJJI. 21 the defensive, relying on the organs of state repression to maintain its hold over society. In a broad sense, then, the growth of the Protestant church over the 1980s, and especially its growth among the educated urban population, was a matter of growing concern to the state in view of the state's own difficulties in securing the allegiance of the population to its ideology. More narrowly, however, as the decade proceeded what the state regarded as the "problems" in Protestant Christianity, incursions by foreign Protestant groups and the persistence of Protestant movements outside of the purview of the Protestant bodies recognized by the state, led to increasing attempts by the state to strengthen its control over Protestant Christianity. In the process of strengthening its control, however, the state helped undermine the appearance of autonomy of the Protestant bodies, which made it more difficult for those bodies to unite China's Protestants and contributed to the attempts of those bodies to distance themselves from the state. 1979-1982: REFORMULATION OF POLICY The difficulty with discussing the state's approach to Protestant Christianity in particular is that it is seldom separated in policy documents from religion in general. This means that in the discussion below we will need to draw the implications for Protestant Christianity out of documents which treat religion more generally. It also means that the pressures which have brought about a change in 22 the state's approach to religion will be exemplified by the case of Protestant Christianity rather than explored in relation to all the religions. Although each religion has posed different specific problems for the state, they are similar in that they all involve problems of social order and to some extent of influence from abroad. Thus it is possible for Protestantism to serve as an example. By the same token, there are respects in which Protestantism poses unique problems; it was the fastest-growing religion between 1979 and 1990, it was gaining in influence among youth and intellectuals, and from a foreign policy standpoint it was the most closely connected to the United States. These factors and others make it a particularly important example. The reimplementation of the religious policy began in earnest in January of 1979, when a national religious work conference attended by over 800 cadres and religious leaders was convened in Shanghai. The conference criticized the undermining of religious policy by the "Gang of Four," and announced the rehabilitation of key religious leaders and the party's intention once again to permit "normal religious activities."13 The revived religious policy was formulated by government leaders and Religious Affairs Bureau cadres in discussion with prominent religious leaders over the ensuing few months, culminating in the publication of the first post-Mao policy statement on religion in the authoritative 1 3 Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, p. 344; Chris Tremewan, ed., Faith in Modernisation: a Post- Revolutionary Encounter with Chinese Christians (Singapore and Geneva: Christian Conference of Asia Youth and World Council of Churches Youth, 1985), pp. 38-42. 23 People's Daily on March 15,1979.14 This article was framed as a response to letters from readers questioning the difference between religion and feudal superstition. Implicitly picking up on a polemical exchange in the mid-1960s on this question, the article asserted a distinction between them, stating essentially that religion - meaning "principally" the world religions Christianity, Islam and Buddhism - is a special category of superstition with "scriptures, doctrines, religious rituals, and organizations."15 Since the disappearance of these religions is a "long-term matter" depending on "the disappearance of classes and on the popularization and development of culture and science," they should be allowed to function under religious organizations supervised by the state.16 "Feudal superstitions," on the other hand, (referring to the public practices of Chinese popular religion but excluding the worship of ancestors in the home) must be resolutely suppressed, the article stated. These essential points were repeated and expanded upon in a series of articles 14 "Zongjiao yu fengjian mixin (Religion and Feudal Superstition)," in Maclnnis, Religion in China  Today, pp. 32-34. That religious leaders were were being consulted on policy in early 1979 is mentioned by Paul V. Martinson in "Musings on Church and State in China - 1979 (and after?)," Ching Feng 23:2 (1980), p. 84. 1 5 In the 1960s exchange, Ya Hanzhang's argument that religion and superstition can and must be distinguished had been overridden by more leftist viewpoints advocating the suppression of all forms of theism. See Maclnnis, Religious Policy and Practice, 35-89; Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, 285-288. 1 6 The "patriotic religious organizations." These bodies, which now number eight, are: the Chinese Buddhist Association, Chinese Islamic Association, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), the Chinese Catholic Church Administrative Commission (CCAC), the Chinese Catholic Bishops' Conference, the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the China Christian Council (CCC). 24 in party organs over the next two years.17 While some important nuances in them will be remarked upon later, they all distinguished religion, defined in institutional terms, from superstition, and they all stated that normal religious activities should be allowed, on the basis that the disappearance of religion is a long-term goal which cannot be forced. The policy articulation process culminated in March 1982 with the release of a Central Committee document on religion defining the aim of the party's religious work as to "unite all the people ... in order that all may strive to construct a modern, powerful socialist state."18 In the meantime, the United Front Work departments of the party and the Religious Affairs departments of the state were being reconstituted in the provinces and cities. Religious premises, most of which had been occupied by other units or used as warehouses for a decade or longer, were being reopened for worship. In 1980, the State Council issued a circular requiring all religious property confiscated since 1949 to be returned to the religious organizations and compensation to be paid 1 7 The main ones were Guo Ju, "Quanmian guanche zongjiao xinyang ziyou zhengce (Fully Implement the Policy of Freedom of Religious Belief)," People's Daily 17/10/79 (translated in Maclnnis, Religion  in China Today, 26-32); Xiao Xianfa "Zhengque lijie he guanche dang de zongjiao xinyang ziyou zhengce (Correctly Understand and Implement the Parry's Policy of Freedom of Religious Belief)," People's  Daily 14/6/80; "Xinyang ziyou shi dang zai zongjiao wenti shang de yixiang genben zhengce (Freedom of Belief is the Party's Fundamental Policy on the Religious Question"), Guangming Daily 30/11/80; Lei Zhenchang, "VJoguo wei shenme yao shixing zongjiao xinyang ziyou? (Why Must China Practice Freedom of Religious Belief?)," Hongqi 5 (1981), pp. 39-40 (translated in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 38-41). 1 8 Section IV. The document was Central Committee Document Number 19 of 1982, "Guanyu woguo shehui zhuyi shiqi zongjiao wenti de jiben guandian he jiben zhengce (The Basic Viewpoint and Policy on the Religious Question During Our Country's Socialist Period)" (hereafter referred to as Document 19). The text is available in San zhongquanhui yilai zhongyao wenxian xuanbian ("Selected Important Documents Since the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee"), Vol 2 (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1982), pp. 1219-1240. The most accessible English translation is in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 8-26. 25 for the years of occupation.19 As far as Protestant Christianity is concerned, churches began to reopen for worship in major cities from September, 1979, and the national TSPM committee was back in operation by early 1980.20 1. MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE IN POLICY What motivated this change in policy? Certainly it was no half-hearted measure, nor a simple reversion to the pre-1966 situation. All religious premises and their lands were apparently to be returned to religious circles (if there were still religious believers left in the area), not just churches and temples themselves and not just those few which had still been operating in 1966. The new criminal law adopted in July 1979 included a clause, welcomed by religious leaders as signifying a new government attitude, which made state personnel liable to prosecution for depriving citizens of their religious freedom.21 In Protestantism, the politicization of the churches from the late 1950s was regretted by the government and by TSPM leaders, and assurances were given that the pulpit was henceforth only to be used 1 9 State Council document number 188 of 1980, "Guanyu luoshi zongjiao tuanti fangchan zhengce deng wenti de baogao (Report on Implementing the Policy on the Property of Religious Organizations and Related Questions);" cited in "Qiangxing tuohui fuyintang zhifa hezai? (Where is the Legal Basis for Forcibly Knocking Down a Chapel?)," TF, No. 6 (1989), p. 12. This is one of a number of intra-bureaucratic documents which we know of but have no access to; it is a tantalizing reminder of the existence of a whole level of documentation unavailable to the outside researcher. 2 0 Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, p. 344, 350. The first church to reopen was one in Ningbo, Zhejiang in April. 2 1 Article 147, Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China. On the response of religious leaders to this clause, see Andrew K.S. Hsiao, "The Reawakening of the Church in China," Ching  Feng 22:3 (1979), p. 134. 26 for religious purposes.22 The mere fact that all the other excesses of the leftist era were also being reversed does not in itself explain why the reimplementation of the religious policy was so complete, nor why the opposition that is known to have existed within the party was overruled.23 The foreign policy implications are one factor; it was recognized that allowing religious life to resurface would ease China's full reentry into the world of diplomacy, and that religious exchange could increase China's political influence in the world.24 Another factor is that the party wished to enlist the support of as many social groups as possible in the new economic endeavor. Less tangibly, suffering in common with religious believers during the Cultural Revolution may have made some United Front and Religious Affairs cadres more sympathetic to religion than they had been before 1966. Also, a soft-line approach to religion was associated with the late Zhou Enlai, whose image the reformist leadership was seeking to appropriate. One motivation which is easily overlooked, however, given the tendency to think of the resurgence of religion as a post-1979 development, is testified to (albeit in anti-Lin Biao/Gang of Four rhetoric) in all the early policy statements. This is that the spread of religious/superstitious activities had already become a cause of 2 2 For example, see Deng Zhaoming, "Further Meeting with Protestant leaders in China," Ching  Feng 22:3 (1979), p. 146; Jonathan Chao, interviews, edited by Richard van Houten, Wise as Serpents,  Harmless as Doves: Christians in China Tell Their Story (Pasadena and Hong Kong: William Carey Library and Chinese Church Research Center, 1988) p. 175. 2 3 See Chan, Towards a Contextual Ecclesiology, pp. 22-28 for evidence of this opposition. 2 4 This is shown by the recurrent stress on the foreign policy utility of religions in the policy documents. 27 concern to the state. For instance, at a national forum on atheism in late 1978 it was noted that "the power of religious faith and feudal superstition still prevails in the country" because of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, who were accused of "restoring feudal fascism" and even of "reviving religious superstitions."25 In a similar vein, the People's Daily article "Religion and Feudal Superstition" outlined above, in commenting on "superstitious" practices, stated that, After liberation, this kind of activity gradually lost its strategic position among the broad masses. However, in the past few years, due to the vicious destructiveness of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four, these things have raised their heads again in villages where "disasters" have struck heavily. In a few areas, they have even grown to the extent of influencing normal production and the life of the masses, and have harmed the financial, physical and mental health of some of the working people.26 Other documents of the era included similar statements, and Document 19 was even more specific. Harking back to the age-old Chinese government fear of clandestine religious movements fuelling rebellions (significantly, given the Protestant situation, a fear aroused particularly by the spread of such movements in rural areas), the document stated that the anti-religious violence of the radicals had "forced religious movements underground," causing them to spread and leading to the rise of illegal practices and counter-revolutionary groups.27 2 5 Guangming Daily 6/1/79, in FBIS-CHI-79-16, 23/1/79. 2 6 See note 8 above. 2 7 Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, p. 13. For evidence of religious practices continuing in the 1970s, see William L. Parish and Martin King Whyte, Village and Family in Contemporary China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), chapters 13 and 14; Whyte and Parish, Urban Life, chapter 10. For state concern about the revival of the Yiguan dao and other sects traditionally considered rebellious, see Robin Munro, guest editor, "Syncretic Sects and Secret Societies: Revival in the 1980s," 28 These passages suggest that the lifting of state restrictions on religion was intended not so much to restore a lost freedom as to restore effective state supervision over a social area which had flourished outside of its control during the radical period.28 To allude again to Vivienne Shue's work, from this perspective the return to a policy of freedom of religious belief was a statist restoration clothed in the language of retracting the state's reach.29 Allowing a zone of toleration for religions viewed as legitimate, under the management of "patriotic religious personages" whose loyalty could be counted upon, would enable the state to distinguish genuine religious believers from those engaged in superstitious or counter-revolutionary activities, who could then be more easily suppressed. 2. THE POLICY AND PROTESTANTS In the case of Protestant Christianity it is now evident that there had indeed been growth outside of state control during the Cultural Revolution period. As more and more churches closed in the 1950s and 1960s, many Protestants began to exercise their faith outside of the institutional churches, usually in household Chinese Sociology and Anthropology 21:4 (1989). 2 8 It certainly did not mean, as one writer has stated, that "the Communists had come to the conclusion that religion was not an opiate but a force for good." Peter Stursberg, The Golden Hope (Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 1987), p. 232. In the vein of the "Deng Xiaoping is really a capitalist" school of journalism, this writer continues, "it could also be said that the People's Republic had finally realized that religion - which in China's case really meant Christianity - was no longer a threat to Marxism, and could even be of assistance." 2 9 See her comments in The Reach of the State, p. 6. 29 groups.30 Such meetings became the only form of Protestant life when all visible church life ceased in 1966. In the cities, some of these meetings consisted of members of the few urban churches that had remained open under the TSPM until 1966, while others had their roots in some of the indigenous Protestant groups whose leaders had been suppressed in the 1950s. In rural China, Protestant movements with roots in the Chinese indigenous sects of the pre-1949 era began to attract new converts through the work of itinerant evangelists from the early 1970s, at least in the southern coastal provinces and in Henan.31 These movements took the form of "house churches" (ranging in size from one or two families to whole brigades), sometimes purely local and sometimes with links to congregations in other areas.32 Although the extent of this growth was probably not realized by the state initially, the general situation was, and how to deal with it was a matter of debate before any churches were reopened. Clearly one influential stream of thought was that home meetings should disband and come to the churches for worship as soon as they were reopened. "The government and the Three-Self Movement are not in 3 0 This phenomenon is widely acknowledged, including by TSPM/CCC leaders, although interpretations of it differ. See Philip L. Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground: Protestant  Christianity, the Three-Self Movement, and China's United Front (New York: Orbis, 1988), pp. 176-177. Grass-roots house church life was investigated by the Chinese Church Research Center in an extensive series of interviews between 1978 and 1984 in Hong Kong and China. Some of these interviews are published in Chao and van Houten, Wise as Serpents. Also based on interviews is Raymond Fung's Households of God on Chinese Soil (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1982). 3 1 See Chao and van Houten, Wise as Serpents, pp 57-77,164,201-205; Fung, Households of God, pp. 10-11, 52-53; Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, pp. 316-322. 3 2 Ibid. 30 favour of encouraging people to gather in homes" lest their activities include a political content, Jiang Wenhan, a Three-Self leader in Shanghai, told a foreign visitor in July 1979.33 Not all church leaders agreed with him, however. Speaking during the CPPCC meeting in September 1980, Bishop Ding Guangxun (K.H. Ting), soon to be made Chairman of the national TSPM Committee and President of the newly-formed China Christian Council, expressed his opposition to calling Christian home meetings illegal.34 That he had to make such an appeal indicates that the opening of churches was being used in at least some places as a reason to outlaw home meetings - as reports continued to show throughout the 1980s. Thus it seems that a key aim of reopening churches, from the state's perspective, was to bring a chaotic and uncontrolled situation out into the open, where the state could be sure that religious believers were being led in the right direction - to be patriotic and to contribute to the four modernizations. This goal, as Document 19 spelled out clearly, was to be achieved by "bringing into full play" the role of the "patriotic religious organizations."35 These were defined in Section VI of that document as being under the "administrative leadership" (xingzheng lingdao) of the state through the Religious Affairs Bureau. Under this leadership, the document stated, they were responsible for: assisting the party and state to 3 3 Interview with Lance Shilton, in OCT 1:5-6 (1979), p. 4. 3 4 Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, p. 352; Ding's comments were published in the People's Daily, 9/9/80. 3 5 For other analyses of Document 19, see Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, pp. 384-388; Richard L. van Houten, "China's Religious Policy in the 1980s," in Select Papers from China Consultation 1987, edited by C. Isaac Tarn (Wheaton, Illinois: Institute for Chinese Studies, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, 1987); Julian Pas, "Introduction," in Pas, The Turning of the Tide. 31 implement the religious policy, raising the patriotic and socialist consciousness of believers, representing (daibiao - a weak term with little connotation of "advocating" or "struggling for") the rights and interests of religious circles, organizing normal religious activities and managing religious affairs. In exercising leadership over them, cadres were to "support and help religious organizations to solve their own problems," and were not to take over their functions. This was the necessary condition, the document stated, for ensuring that the organizations could become "bridges for the party's and the government's work of winning over, uniting with and educating persons in religious circles" (Section VTI). Document 19 stipulated that the religious organizations were to manage religious activities in such a way that they did not interfere with social order or production. Protestant house meetings were singled out for special mention; they were "in principle" not allowed, yet should not be rigidly prohibited. The onus was put on "patriotic religious personages" to persuade such believers to "make more appropriate arrangements" (Section VI). Vigilance was enjoined against infiltration by "hostile religious forces abroad" such as the Vatican and Protestant mission societies (Section XI). In short, the aims of China's religious policy as laid down in Document 19 were to unite all the believers in each religion under one umbrella and bring them into the open, thus ensuring that religious groups stayed loyal to the regime and that religious activities were kept within acceptable limits, with no foreign involvement. These aims were to be achieved through the cooption of the 32 institutional religious leadership under the auspices of the patriotic religious organizations, which were to function under the administrative leadership of the state. It will become evident in the next chapter that this coopted role did not sit entirely comfortably with Protestant leaders in China, and it was not their own image of their organizations. On the contrary, leaders of the TSPM and CCC repeatedly insisted that these organizations were completely autonomous, voluntary initiatives of Chinese Protestants.36 Nevertheless, the state's perspective was clearly that the TSPM and CCC were bodies of loyalist religious leaders coopted to manage Christian activities under its administrative leadership. It was also clear in Document 19, though, that the leadership of the state must not be heavy-handed, lest the effectiveness of the organizations as a bridge between the party/state and the believers be undermined. As the remainder of this chapter will show, as the state's concern about the "problems" in Protestant Christianity - the unwanted incursions into China of foreign Protestant groups and the mushrooming of unsupervised grass-roots Protestant activities - grew over the 1980s, this last requirement and the state's drive towards more effective control became increasingly irreconcilable. 3 6 See for example "Present State of Protestantism - Interview with Bishop K.H. Ting," BR 27:24 (11 June, 1984), p. 21. 1979-1983: EMERGING ISSUES 33 1. OVERSEAS "INFILTRATION" In the Protestant case, underlying what the Chinese government regarded as the problem of the "infiltration" of the country by "hostile religious forces abroad" were the changes in world Protestant Christianity and in Protestant missions since 1949. The victory of the CCP brought to an end the missionary endeavour in China, and the accusations of imperialism levelled at the missions prompted some deep re-evaluation among many thinkers in the "mainline" denominations. As theological thinking shifted, some began to look favorably at Maoist China as a model of an ideal society.37 Meanwhile, however, evangelical denominations and independent churches were growing in influence in Western Christianity and in world missions.38 Many evangelical mission agencies aiming at least in part to promote Christianity in China were founded during the decades that China was a "closed country."39 The growth in numbers and resources of the Protestant church in Hong Kong and among overseas Chinese was another important change in the world Protestant scene which served to keep interest in mission to China very much alive 3 7 See Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground, pp. 3-16. 3 8 See Richard van Houten, "The Question of China Missions," CCT 8:2 (1986), pp. 2-5. 3 9 For example Asian Outreach, based in Hong Kong and founded in 1955; Open Doors, founded in the 1950s to get the Bible into Communist countries; the gospel radio stations Far East Broadcasting Corporation (founded in 1949 to broadcast to China) and Trans World Radio (broadcasting to China from 1978). 34 up to 1979.40 By the time churches began to reopen, Protestant activity directed towards China included broadcasting gospel programmes on short- and medium-wave frequencies, getting Bibles and Christian literature into China via Christian travellers and more large-scale means, making contact with Christian believers and grass-roots itinerant evangelists, and publishing information on the situation of the church in China for Christians abroad.41 A priority of the Chinese government in reactivating its religious policy was to put a stop to such activities. In this it had the willing support of TSPM leaders, who saw such efforts as an imperialistic attempt to reimpose outside control on the Chinese church. The basic approach, laid down by 1980, was to differentiate between friends and enemies abroad, on the basis of whether they "respect[ed] the jurisdiction" of the TSPM/CCC over all Christian activity in China, which is to say, renounced any ambition to do mission work in China.42 While "mainline" churches were happy to relate on this basis, most evangelical groups found this condition unacceptable on doctrinal grounds, especially while they remained uncertain of the 4 0 For information on the overseas Chinese church from 1949, as well as an example of late 1970s evangelical thinking about China, see Jonathan Chao, "The Chinese Church and Christian Missions," paper published in two parts by the China Graduate School of Theology, Silver Spring, Maryland, 1977. 4 1 See Jonathan Chao, "Research, Prayer, and Training," CCT 6:4 (1984), pp. 2-4. 4 2 Han Wenzao, "On the Question of our International Relations," in Ching Feng 24:3 (1981), pp. 175-181; Ding Guangxun, "Fourteen Points from Christians in the People's Republic of China to Christians Abroad," in Theresa Chu and Christopher Lind, eds., A New Beginning: An International  Dialogue with the Chinese Church (Toronto: Canada China Program, 1983), and in Maclnnis, Religion  in China Today, pp. 61-70. 35 theological standpoint and sincerity of the TSPM leadership.43 The scale on which overseas evangelicals could operate became clear in 1981, when the ministry "Open Doors" put together an audacious and controversial operation to land one million Bibles on a Shantou beach, from where Chinese Christians would transport them inland. The Chinese authorities were tipped off during the operation, but versions of the story differ on how many of the Bibles they were able to intercept. It is certainly true that in the early 1980s, large quantities of Christian literature were entering China and being distributed among Christians all over the country.44 2. DOMESTIC RESISTANCE As far as the domestic situation is concerned, when the Three-Self Movement was reconstituted there was already an extensive array of Protestant religious activity, and much of this activity was centred around groups or leaders whose theological presuppositions and personal histories gave them powerful reasons to distrust both the state and the TSPM. Many of them were anti-clerical to begin with, eschewing ordination and believing that there should be no church hierachy beyond 4 3 A statement made by a prominent Hong Kong Chinese evangelical leader to Bishop Ding in 1979 illustrates how deep a perceptual gulf separated them on this question: "The preaching of the Gospel to mainland China is not only the responsibility of Christians in China, but also of every Christian, especially every Chinese Christian in the world. The Christians in Hong Kong have as great a responsibility in this mission and have as much right to do so as you do." Andrew K.S. Hsiao, "The Reawakening of the Church in China," Ching Feng 22:3 (1979), p. 141. 4 4 See Jonathan Chao, "Research, Prayer, and Training," CCT 6:4 (1983), pp. 2-4. China's refusal to accept Bibles from abroad was hard for many Christians overseas to understand; one American millionaire reportedly offered US $25 million to the CCC if they would receive outside Bibles - see "U.S. China Program Trip Report," China and Ourselves 40 (Fall 1984), p. 12. 36 the local congregation.45 The belief that the Three-Self Movement and its representatives were agents of the state to control or even destroy the church was widespread, leading to reluctance on the part of many groups to cooperate with the TSPM, while for others the fact that the Three-Self Movement was administratively subordinate to the state was a violation of the headship of Christ over the church. At the same time the church was growing swiftly, especially in rural areas, and with it grass-roots Christian movements considered heterodox by the state and the Protestant leadership were spreading.46 It appears that in many places in these early years, the concern of government cadres and/or of more rigid elements within the local TSPM to get the situation under control militated against the need to "give full play" to the Christian organizations and tread softly in dealing with existing Protestant groups. In such diverse locations as Henan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Fujian and Yunnan, lists of rules are known to have been drawn up and circulated by the local Three-Self and Christian Council committees between 1980 and 1982. Sometimes called "patriotic covenants," these documents characteristically prohibited the proselytization of people under eighteen years of age, warned against receiving travelling evangelists or other outsiders, and denounced practices like healing and 4 5 These are key tenets of the influential indigenous Protestant sects the True Jesus Church and the Little Flock, and many smaller Chinese Protestant groups also hold to them. 4 6 One group taught that only the four gospels were canonical, for instance, while others were syncretist teachings blending Confucian, Christian, and Chinese popular religious beliefs. For example, see "Problems in Henan - Reports from Itinerant Preachers," CCT 4:2 (1982), pp. 2-5; for a balanced overview of developments to early 1982, see Christine Yuan, "China's Church Expands - a Review of Recent Events," ibid., pp. 10-12. 37 exorcism.47 Along with these documents came reports of the harassment of uncooperative house churches in Henan and Zhejiang as the Three-Self Movement began to organize on the county level.48 For those on the receiving end of such measures, they were confirmation that the TSPM was a vehicle for the suppression of Christianity by the state.49 3. 1983: CONTRACTION In the summer of 1983, in the midst of a massive "anti-crime campaign," the Chinese government launched a coordinated attack on the activities of the "Shouters" sect within China. The "Shouters" (huhanpai), so called because of their custom of shouting during worship, were followers of Li Changshou (Witness Lee), a former associate of the Chinese indigenous church leader Watchman Nee (Ni Tuosheng), who founded the influential "Little Flock" movement in the 1920s.50 Li formed a 4 7 Texts in Bridge 45 (Jan-Feb 1991), pp. 10-11 (for Hunan); appendices in Zhao Tianen (Jonathan Chao), ed., Zhonggong dui Jiduimo de zhengce ("Chinese Communist Policy Toward Christianity") (Hong Kong: Chinese Church Research Center, 1983); Adeney, The Church's Long March, pp. 230-232 (for Yunnan). 4 8 See reports on incidents in Dongyang and Yiwu counties, Zhejiang, and Fangcheng County, Henan, in CCT 4:4-5 (1982); also Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, pp. 406-408. 4 9 E.g. see the views of some Henan house church leaders in Chao and van Houten, Wise as  Serpents, pp. 192-201. 5 0 See Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, 174-177. On Nee, see Angus Kinnear, Against the Tide: The  Story of Watchman Nee (Eastbourne: Victory Press, 1973). In 1949, the Little Flock was one of the largest indigenous church movements in China, with at least 70,000 adherents; Whyte, Unfinished  Encounter, p. 200. 38 breakaway movement, highly sectarian and exclusive, after leaving China in 1949.51 By 1982, this movement, by then based in California, had begun circulating Uterature and recruiting actively in China, although how close-knit a structure was actually established is far from clear. In mid-1983 the "Shouters" sect was labelled heretical by the TSPM/CCC and counter-revolutionary by the CCP Central Committee, and alleged leaders of the sect were arrested around the country.52 While at the national level the TSPM seems to have attempted to use methods of education and persuasion to deal with the Shouters, some local reports allege the complicity or active involvement of TSPM functionaries in the arrest of suspected Shouters.53 Indeed, in 1984 the head of the Shandong provincial Propaganda Department made clear to a meeting of the provincial TSPM/CC that they were expected to cooperate with the government in exposing and struggling against "counter-revolutionaries disguised as religious 5 1 For Li's movement, see Neil T. Duddy and the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, The God-Men: An  Inquiry into Witness Lee and the Local Church (Downer's Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1978, second edition 1981). I am indebted to Ross Penner for this reference. 5 2 See Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, p. 408; Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground, p. 237. Itinerant evangelists in Henan estimated in 1985 that around 1000 Christians in Henan and neighboring provinces had been detained for short terms since 1982, with 24 sentenced to prison or education through labor terms, and 55 still awaiting trial; see "Estimates of Detained Christians Since 1982," CNCR 399, 15/2/85. For details on one case, see Amnesty International, "Prisoners of Conscience in the People's Republic of China: A Representative Selection of Cases of Concern to Amnesty International," report of June 1987, p. 24. 5 3 For the national TSPM's critique of Li's doctrines and politics, see Ding Guangxun, "Discussion with Members of the Yeller Sect," Documentation 15 (Oct 1984), 23-27; Tang Shoulin and Ren Zhongxiang, "Jianjue dizhi Li Changshou de yiduan xieshuo (Firmly Resist Li Changshou's Heretical Teachings)," Jiaocai (Apr 1983). For local TSPM cooperation with the state, see "Detention of Christians in Shantou," CNCR 205 (6/4/84); "Resolution of an Enlarged Meeting of the Guangzhou TSPM and Christian Council Committees," 21/12/83 (unpublished); "Problems and Prayer in the House Churches," OCT 6:5 (1984), pp. 13-16. 39 people."54 In the years between 1980 and 1983, then, there is evidence that Three-Self Movement functionaries in some places were expected to cooperate with the state in clamping down on independent church activities and pressuring them to come into the organizational structure of the TSPM. Certainly, the perception that this was the role of the TSPM was widespread among grass-roots Christians, as was confirmed by an article published in an internal-circulation journal in 1984. The article, written under the pseudonym Ru Wen either by a national Christian leader or a Religious Affairs cadre with a close knowledge of the Protestant situation, alleged that "patriotic covenants" and the like were being forced on the local Christian leadership by short-sighted cadres in many places. Warning that such actions were undermining the credibility of the TSPM among grass-roots Christians, the writer urged a return to the spirit of Document 19, particularly with regard to allowing scope for the religious organizations to function independently.55 The Ru Wen article also confirmed that concern among state cadres about the "religious flood" in China was running high, leading to talk in some quarters of "strengthening management" ("jiaqiang guanli" - also translatable as "strengthening 5 4 "Christians in Shandong Warned Against Counter-Revolutionaries," Jinan Dazhong Daily 30/5/84 (FE 7675 21/6/84), in Documentation No. 15 (Oct. 1984), p. 21. 5 5 Ru Wen, "Xuexi yige wenjian de xinde (Insights from Studying a Document)," Zongjiao No. 2 (1984). Rumour has it that Ding Guangxun was the author; this is quite possible, since the arguments of "Ru Wen" are very close to arguments later used openly by Ding, and since Zongjiao is published by the Religious Studies Institute of Nanjing University, which Ding heads. 40 supervision") over religion and increasing atheist propaganda.56 In 1980, the public usage by RAB head Xiao Xianfa of the wording "guojia dui zongjiao huodong [de] guanli (the state's management of religious affairs)" had aroused strong objections from Ding Guangxun and Buddhist leader Zhao Puchu.57 They discussed the matter with Peng Chong, who was then the Politburo member in charge of United Front work, and it was agreed not to use that wording.58 Document 19 instead described religious affairs as being under the "management" ("guanli") of the patriotic religious organizations, which in turn were under the "administrative leadership" ("xingzheng lingdao") of the state. Much can ride on such fine distinctions in China. 1984-1986: LIBERALIZATION The years 1984 to 1986 appeared to bring a liberalization in the handling of religion. The religion committee of the CPPCC organized a series of inspection tours 5 6 For an example of how direct a county government's "management" of religion could be, see Du Maichi, "Many Misunderstand Nature of Christianity," China Daily 4/9/84. The number of Protestants in Yarding County, Henan, had increased rapidly since 1980, to more than triple the 1949 figure, with most people converting in the hope of healing for illness. The county Religious Affairs cadre stated that the government had designated places for worship in each commune, designated Christians who could preach sermons, sent two young people to seminary, and was planning to run Bible classes. 5 7 The phrase occurred in Xiao Xianfa's article in People's Daily, 14/6/80, cited in note 17 above. 5 8 Recounted by Ding Guangxun in his 1988 letter to the RAB, in ZYJ 70 (Mar-Apr 1989) p. 19; it is also alluded to by Zhao Puchu in a 1991 speech to the CPPCC, in Bridge 46 (Mar-Apr 1991), pp. 6-8. The Guangming Daily article of 30/11/80 (see note 17 above) appears to have been a veiled rebuttal of Xiao. 41 in 1984-85 that helped speed up the return of religious property in some places.59 The Chinese government was becoming more aware, or more willing to admit, that large numbers of religious believers still existed in China, also; whereas in 1985 the official figure was "more than 20 million" believers in the five religions, by 1988 the Religious Affairs Bureau was giving the number as more than 100 million.60 Moreover, the question of the place of religion in socialist society was being approached more open-mindedly, as the next chapter will show. The years 1984-1986 were also productive for the TSPM/CCC. The number of open churches jumped from 1600 in 1984 to 4,044 (plus 17,000 home meeting points affiliated with the TSPM/CCC) by the end of 1986, with over three million members, including 152,000 baptized that year.61 Bibles were being printed (2.1 million volumes by August 1986), over 600 students were being trained in a growing number of theological colleges (ten by 1986), and the leadership of the church was being regularized with over 26,000 lay workers approved to lead meeting points by 1986.62 The Three-Self/Christian Council structure was being extended into a 5 9 See Shen Derong, "The Conscientious Implementation of Religious Policy," TF No. 7 (1985), excerpts in Documentation 18 (Dec 1985), pp. 6-8. 6 0 "Religion in Hong Kong and Relations with the Vatican," China Daily 7/4/85, in Documentation 17 (Aug 1985), p. 3; "Religious Statistics," Dasom bao 23/2/88, in CSPT 3:3 (1988), p. 39. 6 1 "Christianity in China Today," BR 27:24 (11/6/84), p. 22; "Dalu Jidujiao zhi duoshao? (What do you Know About Christianity on the Mainland?)," Qiao 25 (Sep-Oct 1987). 6 2 Ibid.; "Fourth National Christian Conference Begins," CNCR 781 (22/8/86); "Bishop Ding Gives Church Statistics," CNCR 971 (12/6/87). 42 growing number of counties and cities, also.63 In its international contacts, the TSPM/CCC scored major successes in winning over overseas evangelicals, as a report in late 1987 boasted.64 The Amity Foundation, established by Chinese Christians in 1985 as one of China's first non-governmental social service agencies, had provided a means for overseas Christians to contribute to China and the Chinese church without violating the three-self principles.65 The United Bible Society had contracted to donate a modern Bible printing press to the Foundation, at a cost of over US $6 million.66 The Southern Baptists, a major U.S. evangelical denomination, had resolved not to undertake any ministry in China except as approved by the TSPM/CCC. 6 7 Dr. Billy Graham, perhaps the most widely-respected figure in the evangelical world, had accepted an invitation to visit China.68 Nevertheless, within China grass-roots Christian movements resistant to the TSPM continued to flourish, overseas "China ministry" organizations continued to 6 3 For a sampling of notices of the formation of local TSPM/CC committees in many parts of China, see TF No.'s 1-3 (1985), in Documentation 17 (Aug 1985), pp. 22-23. 6 4 Han Wenzao, "Pengyou guangbian tianxia, fanhua tulao xinji (Friends All Over the World, Anti-China Schemes Foiled)," TF No. 11 (1987), pp. 15-18. 6 5 For Amity's work after five years of operation, see China Notes 39:1 (Winter 1990-1991), pp. 611-620. 6 6 The press began production in 1987; see "News From the Amity Press in Nanjing," CNCR 1235 (21/9/88). 6 7 For a Southern Baptist perspective on the Chinese church situation, see Britt Towery, The  Churches of China: Taking Root Downward, Bearing Fruit Upward (Hong Kong, Houston and Waco: Long Dragon Books, revised edition 1987). 6 8 The trip took place in April, 1988; see "China Trip Full of Opportunity - Graham," CNCR 1148 (4/5/88). 43 operate abroad, and concern about the situation continued to rise in state circles. A turning point was apparently reached with the convening of a ten-day national religious work conference for over 100 cadres in religious work at the beginning of 1986. As with many such meetings, little information about the proceedings was published in the Chinese press. Two things stand out in what was published, however: the conference was addressed by high-ranking state and party leaders, notably Politburo member Xi Zhongxun and Vice-Premier Tian Jiyun; and the emphasis of future religious work was placed on (among other things) "strengthening administrative leadership over the sites of religious activities."69 Although in themselves these facts tell us little, in the light of subsequent developments it is tempting to see the former as a sign of attention being given to religion at higher levels in the party and state than before, and the latter as a carefully phrased reintroduction of the rhetoric of "strengthening management" over religious affairs. This conference was followed by provincial equivalents, the reports of five of which are available. Strengthening leadership was stressed in some provinces (Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi), while in others correcting leftism in religious work was stressed, with strengthening leadership only mentioned (Henan, Hunan, Heilongjiang). In all five cases the meetings were addressed by a deputy secretary of the provincial party committee, which seems to confirm that religious work was coming to be considered 6 9 See Xinhua reports of 28/12/85 and 6/1/86 (FE 8152 9/1/86), in CSPT 1:1 (1986), pp. 33-34, also in Fayin No. 2 (1986), p. 21; also "National Conference Confirms Religious Policy," CNCR 635, 10/1/86. Xi Zhongxun was then the Politburo member with overall responsibility for United Front work. 44 too important to be left solely to the Religious Affairs and United Front departments.70 1987-1989: RESURGENT CONCERN By the beginning of 1987, the Chinese state was facing a crisis of direction as the reform program became bogged down in inflation and a burgeoning foreign trade deficit. Internally, the ouster of CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang after the student demonstrations of late 1986 brought an escalation of conflict within the ranks of the leadership. The increasing complexity of Chinese society and the increasing variety of China's contacts with the outside world resulted in an escalating crime rate and heightened concern about the spread of "bourgeois liberal" influences in society. 1. PROBLEMS IN PROTESTANTISM As far as Protestant Christianity is concerned, gospel radio, small-and large-scale efforts to get religious literature into China, and the publication of adverse news about the religious situation in China were continuing. In addition, by the mid-1980s, several hundred Western Christians had been placed as foreign experts 7 0 "Inner Mongolia Religious Work Conference," (FE 8219 23/3/86); "Religious Work Conference in Henan," (FE 8223 3/4/86); "Heilongjiang Religious Affairs Conference," (FE 8255 10/5/86); "Shaanxi Provincial Work Conference on Religion," (FE 8302 4/7/86); all in CSPT 1:3 (1986), pp. 29-30; "Liu Zhengwei Speaks at Religious Work Conference," (JPRS-CHI-86-033, 25/4/86), in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 37-38. 45 in Chinese universities by Western Christian agencies set up for the purpose. The lifting of restrictions on travel to the mainland by the Taiwan government late in 1987 created an added channel for overseas Protestant influence, as Taiwan residents began visiting the mainland in large numbers, among them Christians eager to spread Christianity to their mainland relatives.71 Moreover, the types of religious influence entering China had become more varied. In 1986, for instance, the Chinese authorities uncovered members of the Children of God cult working as English teachers in Guangdong, where they had apparently used sexually explicit propaganda to recruit a number of university students.72 Domestically, there continued to be strong Christian movements outside of the TSPM/CCC, and these continued to be reported abroad.73 Chinese sources continued to complain of the activities of itinerant preachers.74 In Henan, one independent Protestant network was running its own three-month training courses 7 1 See articles in ZYJ 65 (May-Jun 1988), pp. 1-11. 7 2 "Teaching English in China," China and Ourselves 48 (Winter 1986), pp. 10-11; also reported in China Daily, 30/8/86. For Hare Krishna activities in China, see Anton Heofter, "Almost Hare Krishna," Areopagus 3:1 (1989), pp. 35-37. The Unification Church of Sun Syung Moon ("Moonies") claimed in 1990 to have ten missionaries and more than 1000 converts in China; Mark Clifford, "Messianic Mission," FEER 1/11/90, pp. 24, 26. The attraction of foreign exchange seems to have overridden Chinese government caution about foreign religious groups in this instance. 7 3 For a sampling of negative attitudes towards the TSPM among house churches all over China in the late 1980s, see A.P.B. Lambert, "Church of China, Church of God," Areopagus 2:3 (1989), pp. 25-33; Song Yu'en, "Sanzi, jiating jiaohui yu zuguo tongyi (Three-Self, House Churches and National Unity)," ZYJ 66 (Jul-Aug 1988), pp. 7-10; Wang Jiasheng, "Women weihe bu canjia 'Sanzihui'? (Why Do We Not Join the TSPM?)," ZYJ, 74 (Nov-Dec 1989), pp. 22-24; "Disputes Over How to Relate to TSPM Splits [sic] House Churches," CNCR 1467 (20/10/89). 7 4 For example "Preaching Plan in Eastern Guangdong," TF No. 12 (1987), in CSPT 3:2 (1988), pp. 60-61; "Identity Papers for Legal Evangelists," CNCR 1075 (11/12/87). 46 for itinerant evangelists.75 In Guangzhou, the house church of Lin Xiangao (Lam Hinko, Samuel Lamb), which met openly and had a total membership of over 800, was coming to symbolize the whole house church movement for overseas Protestants (along with the aging Wang Mingdao in Shanghai, who had been released in 1980 after 25 years in prison).76 In response to this situation,77 and in line with attempts to tighten control over society in general, the state took more aggressive measures against independent house churches and Christian activity from abroad from mid-1987.78 Some of these measures were taken, as in earlier years, through the TSPM/CC committees, as in Shanxi Province, where the two committees passed a restrictive set of regulations in early 1987, or in Fuqing County, Fujian, where a local Three-Self decree forbade all unapproved meeting points and preachers.79 Also in 1987, the central Religious 7 5 Jonathan Chao, "House Church Seminary Training and Missions Strategy," CPL 83 (July 1987), pp. 1-2. 7 6 Lin was a fundamentalist pastor imprisoned for twenty years in 1958 as a counter-revolutionary and an imperialist sympathizer. People were quickly drawn to his house church after he reopened it in 1979, and, unlike many such groups, he made no effort at secrecy. U.S. President Ronald Reagan sent him greetings and an autographed Bible through a special envoy, and in April, 1988, American evangelist Billy Graham visited his church during his high-profile trip to China. Lin mimeographed his own books and disseminated his preaching on cassette tapes. See Lin Xiangao, "Congshi zhizhong, Yehehua dou bangzhu wo (From Beginning to End, The Lord Has Helped Me)," ZYT 70 (Mar-Apr 1989), pp. 13-16. 7 7 And, of course, to analogous situations in other religions: the tenacious influence of the underground Catholic church, the monastery-based rise of nationalist unrest in Tibet from late 1987, the influence among the Muslims of the northwest of the world Islamic revival. As with Protestantism, foreign "infiltration" was a factor in all these situations. 7 8 For an overview see Anthony P.B. Lambert, "The Church in Mainland China Today: Ambiguities in Party Religious Policy," CATW (Sep. 1988) pp. 2-5, (Oct. 1988) pp. 4-6. 7 9 "New Regulations Published By TSPM in Shanxi," CNCR 1055 (23/10/87); Fujian text in ZYT 69 (Jan-Feb 1989), p. 23, "Fujian Document Reveals Nature of Provincial Church Polity," CNCR 1303 (6/1/89). That pressure from the provincial government was involved in the drafting of the Shanxi 47 Affairs Bureau began to discuss the idea of requiring all places of religious activity to be registered with the government in the national law on religion then being drafted.80 This suggestion was shelved after legal objections at the national level, but the measure was later implemented in laws passed in Guangdong province. Firstly, the Guangzhou municipal government issued a law, effective from July 1st, 1987, entitled "Guangzhou Municipality Temporary Regulations on the Administration and Management of Religious Affairs."81 This law aimed to ensure that no religious activities in the city occurred without government knowledge and approval; to prevent people from outside the city, whether from abroad or from other parts of China, from conducting religious activities in the city; and to prevent "feudal superstitious" activities.82 Existing religious activity points (defined as churches, temples, monasteries, and other premises where religious activities were conducted - such as Protestant home meeting points) were given six months to apply to the government for permission to operate, and new ones were not to be opened without prior permission.83 document was indicated by Ding Guangxun in an interview with Chris Woehr and Ron MacMillan, NNI 15/11/88, p. 18. 8 0 "Bishop K.H. Ting's View of the Present Situation of Christianity in China," Bridge 33 (Jan-Feb 1989), p. 3. 81 "Guangzhou shi zongjiao shiwu xingzheng guanli zanxing guiding," in ZYJ 62 (Nov-Dec. 1987), p. 3. 8 2 In wording reminiscent of KMT laws of 1928 and 1930 (see Zhonghua minguo fagui huibian Vol. 4 pp. 794-796), one part restricted the manufacturing and selling of incense to establishments authorized by the government and forbade altogether the production, sale or importation of ritual money, paper figures and other "superstitious implements." 8 3 For more details, see "Guangzhou Clamps Down on Religious Activities," CNCR 1072 (27/11/87). 48 Sources tell us of other documents regulating religious activities passed in Guangdong in these two years, although the texts of them are not available.84 The official Guangdong Yearbook, after citing progress made by the Religious Affairs departments in 1987 in strengthening their "administrative management" of religion and "helping the religious bodies to establish and perfect their system of regulations," tells also of regulations passed by the provincial Buddhist Association, and by the provincial Three-Self Patriotic Movement and Christian Council, to "strengthen their guidance over the temples and churches under them."85 The culmination of this process was promulgation of the "Guangdong Province Regulations on the Administration and Management of Places of Religious Activity," which came into effect on May 1, 1988.86 This law, which generated protest both in China and abroad, was similar to the one earlier enacted by Guangzhou Municipality. It required all places of religious activity in the province to be registered with the relevant departments of the government at county level or above, and restricted the conducting of religious activities to "religious professionals" under the auspices of the patriotic religious organizations, in registered venues. In bringing the limits on religious freedom in China to the attention of the outside world, this law undid much of the public relations work of Chinese religious 8 4 These were "Guangdong sheng jiaowu gongzuo guanli guili (Guangdong Province Stipulations on the Management of Religious Affairs Work)" and two Guangzhou regulations on Catholicism. Shi Nancun, "Guangdong sheng zongjiao zhengce wenjian you weixian zhi xian (Guangdong Province Religious Policy Document Suspected Unconstitutional)," Shidai luntan 67,11/12/88, p. 1. 85 Guangdong nianiian 1988, p. 538. 86 "Guangdong sheng zongjiao huodong changsuo xingzheng guanli guiding," Baixing 175 (1/9/88) and ZYT 67 (Sep-Oct. 1988) pp. 21-22, in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 45-49. 49 leaders, who had sought energetically over the preceding decade to portray China as enjoying uninhibited religious freedom. It was particularly embarrassing for Ding Guangxun, who only a few months earlier had stated in an interview widely publicized abroad that, "China has no system whereby Christians must register with any government agency or any other organization."87 On the basis of these laws, the Public Security Bureau proceeded to move against the highly visible house church of Lin Xiangao. Between August and December, 1988, he was summoned for questioning six times, including some lengthy sessions in which he was pressured to join the Three-Self Movement and register his church with the government.88 International attention and an intercession on Lin's behalf from Bishop Ding, followed by more pressing problems for the security authorities after the 1989 student protests, led to a lull in PSB action against Lin, but on February 23, 1990, his church was finally closed down as an "illegal religious propagation point." Lin himself was released after 23 hours in custody, and soon thereafter resumed his activities.89 8 7 Ding Guangxun (K.H. Ting) to Rev. Ewing W. Carroll, Jr., China Talk 13:1 (1988), pp. 10-12, in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 353-356. The interview was also published in CSPT 2:3 (1987), in Beijing Review in January, 1988, and in Bridge in Chinese and English. 8 8 Lin, "The Lord Has Helped Me," p. 16; "Guangzhou jiating jiaohui bei yaoqiu jiaru sanzi zuzhi (Guangzhou House Church Required to Join Three-Self Organization)," ZYJ 67 (Oct-Nov 1988), p. 18; "Renewed Pressure On Guangzhou House Church," CNCR 1294 (14/12/88). According to interviews, it is association with the TSPM more than registration itself which Lin objected to. "I am free to preach the whole Bible while I am unregistered," he told one reporter. "If I were to be part of the Three-Self, I could not teach Creation, it would have to be evolution; I could not teach the Second Coming [of Christ], it would have to be the Four Modernizations." Ron MacMillan, "China's Famous Canton Church to Relocate," NNI17/1/90, pp. 14-15. 89 "Lin Xiangao feifa chuanjiao - chuanjiaodian zuo bei qudi (Lin Xiangao's Proselytization Illegal -Meeting Point Suppressed Yesterday)," Wenhui bao 24/2/90; "Guangzhou jiaohui lingxiu huoshi (Guangzhou Church Leader Released)," Xinxdao Ribao 27/2/90; Diana Scimone, "Business as Usual 50 Meanwhile, just as state concern in Guangdong over unregulated Christian activities was mounting, so was it in the country as a whole.90 The highest-level known expression of that concern was a late 1988 report on China's "Christianity fever" in the Neican xuanbian ("Selections from 'Internal Reference'").91 This report gave an account the growth of Christianity, in recent years, expressing particular concern about conversions among youth, intellectuals and party members. Having suggested causes for this growth in some shortcomings in the work of the party and government, the authors went on to discuss some "disturbing problems" related to this "Christianity fever." These included privately-run meeting points and "self-styled evangelists" (2,600 of these meeting points and over 500 such evangelists were said to be operating in Henan), "illegal elements" who "abuse women and swindle people" under the guise of religion, separationist sects attempting to leave the Three-Self Movement, and "reactionary elements" linking up with "hostile religious forces abroad." The report recommended strengthening the state's management ("jiaqiang guanli") of religious activities, clamping down on illegal elements, and suppressing for Canton's Leading House Church Pastor," NNI 9/11/90, pp. 28-30. 9 0 For an overview of reports of persecution in 1987-1988, encompassing Anhui, Fujian, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Guangdong and Shanxi, see Anthony P.B. Lambert, "China's House Churches Face Tighter Controls," NNI 15/11/88, pp. 22-28. 9 1 Jiang Zhimin and Xu Zugen, "Woguo 'Jidujiao re' shitou bujian (The Momentum of 'Christianity Fever' in our Country is Not Diminishing)," Neican xuanbian 41 (n.d. but assumed late 1988), 19-22; reprinted in ZYT 70 (Mar-Apr. 1989), pp. 9-10. Later articles by the same authors, using much of the material in this report, appeared in Liaowang (o/s) 30/1/89, pp. 6-9, and BR (20-26 March 1989), pp. 19-21. Neibu cankao carries reports on the domestic situation for a small number of the highest-level cadres in China; see Michael Schoenhals, "Elite Information in China," Problems of Communism 36:5 (1985), pp. 65-71. Neican xuanbian apparently reprints selections from Neibu cankao for cadres at lower levels, although how low is not clear. 51 reactionary religious organizations.92 By early 1989, then, the state's concern over the "problems" in Protestant Christianity was resulting in a growing stress on "strengthening the management" of religions by the state, and in at least one province this had been embodied in a set of laws which, as Ding Guangxun expressed in a letter of protest to the central Religious Affairs Bureau, made "the two Protestant organizations into a subsidiary arm of the state."93 These trends aroused strong opposition from Ding and other religious leaders, as will be shown in the next chapter. 1989-1990: STATE ON THE DEFENSIVE The events of 1989 in China and in Eastern Europe added two new elements to the growing anxiety within the regime over the Protestant situation in China. Firstly, they increased concern over the Western role in the changes in Chinese society, and led to talk of a capitalist conspiracy to subvert socialism through 9 2 For comparison, a county-level UFWD cadre's view of the problems in Christianity can be seen in Shi Chunxuan, "Expressing My Innermost Thoughts to My Religious Friends," JF No. 6 (1990), in CSPT 5:3 (1990), pp. 79-81. Shi complained of three things: an "irresponsible" demand for numbers (of new converts), an overemphasis on healing, and "some religious people who cannot conscientiously coordinate with the government and its officials in revealing and resolutely attacking" unauthorized preachers. 9 3 ZYT 70 (Mar-Apr. 1989), p. 18. For similar laws enacted to deal more with the Muslim situation in Xinjiang (although Protestant believers, including groups independent of the TSPM, were increasing in Xinjiang also), see CSPT 5:3 (1990), pp. 42-47 (from Xinjiang Daily 16-17/9/90, FE 0905, 0908). 52 "peaceful evolution."94 The role of Western Protestants working as "foreign experts" in China began to receive unfavorable attention as a result.95 By mid-1990 "peaceful evolution" had become standard rhetoric in United Front and religious work, with party leaders warning United Front cadres and religious leaders that a willingness to combat "infiltration" was now the basic criterion for being considered on the party's side in the United Front96 Secondly, the events of 1989 made clear to the CCP how potent a social force religious institutions could become.97 Party elder Wang Zhen is reported to have warned in an internal speech in 1990 that the CCP was losing its village power base due to the spread of religion.98 Another internal party report allegedly compared the growth of the Protestant church with the decline in numbers joining the party.99 Reports indicated a trend around the country towards tightening control of religion, 9 4 E.g. see Wu Ge, '"Meiguo zhi yiri de biaoyan yu 'heping yanbian' celue (The Performance of the 'Voice of America' and the Strategy of 'Peaceful Evolution')," People's Daily 9/7/89, p. 4. 9 5 See "China Attacks 'US Involvemenf," SCMP 19/8/89; "US Man Expelled By China," SCMP 6/3/90; "Japanese Christians Reportedly To Be Expelled From China," Kyodo in English 16/1/90 (FE 0665), in CSPT 5:1 (1990), p. 70. 9 6 See "Jiang Zemin at United Front Forum," Xinhua in English 14/6/90, in CSPT 5:2 (1990), p. 27; Wan Yaobin, "Zai Zhongguo Jidujiao quanguo 'lianghui' weiyuan huiyi shang de jianghua (Speech at Meeting of TSPM/CCC National Committees)," JF No. 11 (1990), p. 19. 9 7 Ron MacMillan, "Political Convulsions in Eastern Europe Place Chinese Church Under Scrutiny," NNI 17/5/90, pp. 31-34. As the next chapter outlines, the TSPM/CCC had supported the 1989 protests. 9 8 Andrew Wark, "Chinese Leader Warns of Rising Religious Influence in Rural Areas," NNI 6/4/91, pp. 6-7 (based on SCMP 12/3/91). 9 9 Nian Ping, "Zhi you Shangdi cai neng jiu Zhongguo? (Is It Only God Who Can Save China?)," Zhengming 150 (Apr 1990). Allegedly, a party report showed that the number of people joining the party in Beijing was 45% less in 1987-1989 than it had been in 1984-1986, while the number of Protestants increased 2.7 times during the same period. Similar figures were given for nine other major cities. 53 and towards regarding combatting infiltration, not uniting the masses, as the main task in religious work.100 At the end of the year, another religious work conference heard speeches not simply from a Politburo member as in the previous such conference in 1985/86, but from the General Secretary of the party and the Premier of the State Council. Although the themes of Document 19 were repeated, stress was also placed on the importance of religious work and the need to strengthen party leadership over it.101 One other change to flow from the events of 1989 was the reversal of the popular image of China in the West, from that of a relatively enlightened, reforming socialist state to a die-hard, totalitarian Communist hold-out. The new image of China and the new world balance of power raised human rights higher on the agenda of the U.S./China relationship. In 1991, two U.S. congressmen presented Li Peng with a list of 77 Catholic and Protestant prisoners in China, and a petition signed by 110 members of Congress calling for their release. They reportedly told Li Peng that the continuation of China's Most Favored Nation status would become 1 0 0 Deng Zhaoming, "A Saddening Development," Bridge 46 (Mar-Apr 1991), pp. 2-3. A strongly-worded speech by a Shanghai RAB cadre in mid-1990 criticized the Catholic and Protestant patriotic bodies, and listed overseas infiltration, neglect of ideological education of religious believers, and laxity in the supervision of religious organizations and venues as the three main problems in the city's religious work; Wang Hongda, "Jinyibu zuohao zongjiao gongzuo, weihu guojia he shehui wending (Make Progress in Doing Religious Work Well, Safeguard the Nation and Social Stability)," ZYT 80 (Nov-Dec 1990), p. 6. 1 0 1 "Li Peng on Party Religious Policy," Xinhua 5/12/90; "Jiang Zemin on CCP's 'Correcf Policy on Religion," Xinhua 8/12/90 (both in FE 0943 10/12/90). 54 more tied to human rights issues in the future.102 One of the Shantou Little Flock leaders jailed in 1983 was released soon afterwards.103 CONCLUSION Thus, over the decade from 1979 to 1990, religion moved from being a marginal issue to the state to being one which generated strong anxiety at the highest levels of leadership in China. As far as Protestant Christianity is concerned, the major reasons for this anxiety (aside from the religion's growing numbers among important sectors of the population), were the continuing existence of independent groups and networks of Christian believers in the country (with the associated "problems" of fundamentalism, sectarianism, and "superstitious" practices such as healing and ecstatic worship), and the persistence of unwanted Protestant incursions from abroad. The result was that the state moved progressively away from the ideal of cooption as outlined in Document 19 to a more direct imposition of control over religious activities and organizations. In some provinces, an attempt had been made through legislation to replace the rather flexible, trust-based relationship between the state and religious organizations under cooption with a clearly-defined, 1 0 2 Andrew Wark, "Congressmen Discuss Religious Freedom Issues with Chinese Leaders," NNI 9/4/91, pp. 14-16; see also Wark, "Former U.S. President Intercedes for China's Religious Prisoners," NNI 7/5/91, p. 21. The list of prisoners was compiled by a Catholic human rights agency based in Washington D.C, the Puebla Institute, in a report entitled "China's Forgotten Prisoners of Conscience: Persecuted Christian Clergy," dated March 1991. 1 0 3 Lesley Francis, "Christian Prisoner Released Following Congressional Visit to China," NNI 7/5/91, p. 6. 55 bureaucratized relationship. From the state's perspective, it appeared that the cooption strategy had failed to bring order to the grass-roots religious situation and to negate the efforts of overseas religious groups to play a role in China. However, at least in the Protestant case, the Document 19 ideal of giving the religious organizations scope to operate had never been put into practice well enough overall for the TSPM/CCC to shake off the impression widely held within China and overseas that it was a tool of the state. CHAPTER THREE: THE PROTESTANT QUEST FOR LEGITIMACY 56 INTRODUCTION When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, it had many reasons to establish a highly unified state. It inherited not only the ancient Chinese assumption of the "primacy of the political order," but also the specific (and deeply felt) historical legacy of the disintegration of China since the mid-nineteenth century, and the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the revolutionary party exercising political dictatorship on behalf of the proletariat.1 These attitudinal factors were matched, to a greater degree than ever before in China, by the means to assert effective state control over the institutional and cultural diversity of the country.2 In the case of the Protestant church, China's new rulers were doubly determined to bring it under control because of its intimate connection to the Western imperialist nations. Nevertheless, as with the transformation of other aspects of society, the goal of establishing Communist Party leadership was held together with the equally important goal of creating revolutionary consciousness among the people.3 Thus, the new regime did not impose itself overtly upon the 1 See Benjamin I. Schwartz, "The Primacy of the Political Order in East Asian Societies: Some Preliminary Generalizations," in Foundations and Limits of State Power in China, edited S.R. Schram (London and Hong Kong: School of Oriental and African Studies and Chinese University Press, 1987), pp. 1-10; Maurice Meisner, "The Concept of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Chinese Marxist Thought," in State and Society in Contemporary China, edited Victor Nee and David Mozingo (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983), pp. 109-131. 2 See Maurice Meisner, Mao's China: A History of the People's Republic (New York: Free Press, 1977), pp. 64-73. 3 For the importance of mobilizing the masses to undertake their own land reform, see William Hinton's Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village (New York: Vintage Books, 1966). 57 church, but rather encouraged the reform of the church from within, by cultivating "progressive" Protestant activists under whose direction the reform could be carried out.4 The result was the formation of the Three-Self Movement, which gradually supplanted the existing church structures such as the denominations and the National Council of Churches and took on the responsibility for the running of the churches.5 Although it was the means by which the church was brought under the leadership of the CCP, however, the TSPM always preserved the formal appearance of being an independent reform movement of Chinese Protestants. This is the root of the differing presentations of the nature of the TSPM/CCC by the state and by Protestant leaders, remarked upon in the preceding chapter. Protestant leaders in the 1980s were not simply falsifying the situation when they protested the use by overseas writers of terms like "official church" to describe the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.6 Also at work was a genuine divergence between the state's understanding of the patriotic religious organizations as coopted bodies under its leadership and the Protestant leaders' own understanding of the history and role of the movement.7 4 For how this proceeded, see Bush, Religion in Communist China, pp. 170-208. 5 See Jonathan Chao, "Church and State in Socialist China, 1949-1987," Issues and Studies 24:2 (1988), pp. 40-63; Ding Guangxun, "Reordering the Relationships," China Notes 27:1 (Winter 1988-89). 6 For example, see Ding Guangxun's comments in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 64-65. 7 For Three-Self understandings of their own history, see Zhao Fusan, Christianity in China, edited Theresa C. Carino (Manila: China Studies Program, De La Salle University, 1986), pp. 18-32; K.H. Ting, "Theological Mass Movement in China," in Ting, Christian Witness in China Today (Kyoto: Doshisha University Press, 1985), pp. 19-36. 58 In the 1980s, with various social groups and institutions in China starting to articulate interests distinct from those of the state, this self-understanding of Protestant leaders became important as the TSPM sought to make its nominal autonomy from the state more and more of a reality. As the preceding chapter outlined, the Chinese state in the 1980s became increasingly concerned about the growth of the Protestant church and the persistence of independent Protestant movements and "infiltration" from abroad, and as a result it moved away from an ideal of relying on "patriotic" religious leaders to win over Protestant believers, toward an ideal of strengthening the state's direct "management" over Protestant religious activities. This process was matched, however, by ever more vigorous attempts on the part of Protestant leaders to carve out a sphere of legitimacy for their beliefs and autonomy for their institutions, attempts which led them from 1988 into direct and public confrontations with the state. Many factors contributed to this development. The eroding of intellectual conformity in the 1980s was a precondition, as was the growth of the church and the strengthening of the TSPM/CCC as a national institution over the decade. Another precondition was the access of Protestant leaders to channels of expression, including media organs like the Three-Self magazine Tian feng and political institutions like the CPPCC and the NPC within the country, and the Protestant media outside China. The expectations of ordinary Protestant believers that their leaders stand up for the interests of the church, and rise of a new generation of church workers towards the end of the 1980s as the first cohort of post-Mao 59 theological students graduated, helped to fuel the new assertiveness. The immediate catalyst in the process, however, was the dissipation of the optimism of the early 1980s in the face of persisting problems in the church/state relationship: intellectually, the unresolved ambiguity between the state's toleration of religious belief and its concern for ideological purity, and the persistence of anti-religious viewpoints within the state; institutionally, intervention in church affairs and arbitrary behaviour by state personnel, and the difficulties encountered in many places in securing the return of church property. This chapter will trace the emergence of Protestant assertiveness over the 1980s, showing the influence of each of these factors. Firstly the attempts by Protestant leaders to claim a sphere of legitimacy for Christianity in socialist China in terms of Chinese Marxist theory will be shown, and secondly their growing use of public channels to demand that the autonomy of the church be respected by the state will be discussed. 1980-1986: PRESSING FOR IDEOLOGICAL LEGITIMACY When the policy of religious freedom was reinstituted in 1979, the justification given for it was pragmatic. After twenty years of trying to eliminate religion through administrative measures, the party had come to view this as counter-productive, and the toleration of religion within certain parameters had come to be seen as a necessary evil. 60 Although this policy did not imply a very positive view of religion, it was a monumental step forward for religious believers in China. For the Three-Self Movement, the period 1979 to 1982, during which a religious policy for the new era was being formulated, was a time of consolidation, and of optimism about the intentions of the new CCP leadership. Religious leaders were being respectfully consulted in the drafting of the religious policy, and religious leaders were instrumental in getting the prejudicial clause "Citizens have the freedom not to believe in religion and to propagate atheism" dropped from the 1982 Constitution.8 Protestant leaders who visited foreign countries in those early years waxed enthusiastic about the changes in China and the enlightened attitude of the Deng Xiaoping regime. In 1981, for example, Jiang Wenhan, a founding member of the Three-Self Movement, expressed optimism about the future of New China now that the "Gang of Four, a bunch of careerists who were not true Communists," had been smashed. "The Chinese people believe that, in spite of its imperfections, the socialist experiment is the only hope for China," Jiang stated.9 At home, however, Protestant leaders were aware (as were the leaders of other religions) that the place of religion in Chinese society remained a matter of some ambiguity. This ambiguity became very evident during the campaign against See Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 7-8. 9 "What New China Means To Me," in K.H. Ting et al., Chinese Christians Speak Out: Addresses  and Sermons (Beijing: New World Press, 1984), p. 114. 61 "spiritual pollution" in late 1983.10 Although religion itself was not a target, the portrayal of religion in literature was listed along with "the bourgeois theory of human nature, humanism, alienation, existentialism, and the modernist school," and more tangible influences such as "sexual freedom" and pornography as the sort of "contaminating" ideology which had to be opposed.11 There was no open criticism of the religious policy, but it was not until mid-December, when the campaign was already being reined in, that top leaders stated explicitly that religion and spiritual pollution were two separate issues.12 The central problem was that under the policy of religious freedom, while religions were permitted to operate, religious belief continued to be seen as contradictory to Marxist belief and thus to the progress of socialism. Moreover, the official line that in socialist China the basis of religion in class oppression had been removed led to the expectation that religion (despite its lingering influence among less educated sectors of the population and the psychologically weak) would basically continue to atrophy under socialism.13 As the previous chapter indicated, 1 0 On the campaign, see Schram, "Economics in Command," pp. 437-448; Thomas B. Gold, "'Just in Time!' - China Battles Spiritual Pollution on the Eve of 1984," Asian Survey 24:9 (1984), pp. 947-974. 1 1 These were all listed by Zhu Muzhi in "Minister of Culture Makes Self-Criticism," VJenyibao 7/1/84, in FE 7574 23/2/84. For another article criticizing religious themes in literature as "spiritual pollution," see Deng Yizhong and Zhong Chengxiang, "Qingchu jingshen wuran, null biaoxian xinren (Eliminate Spiritual Pollution, Strive to Portray New People)," People's Daily 31/10/83 (FE 7487 10/11/83). 1 2 Li Xiannian to the visiting Archbishop of Canterbury, in People's Daily 17/12/83, in TF No. 2 (1984), p. 2. Earlier in December, Buddhist leaders had been reassured by top RAB and UFWD officials on this point; see Fayin No. 6 (1983), pp. 3-8. 1 3 Even the relatively free-thinking Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences stated in 1985 that, "in a healthy socialist environment [religion's] growth is minimal." "The Views of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences," Shehui kexue (Apr 1985), in CSPT 1:1 (1986), p. 32. 62 the inroads made by Protestant Christianity among the educated, urban sectors of the population in the 1980s was a cause of puzzlement and some alarm to the state.14 Protestant leaders sought to deal with this situation in two main ways. Firstly, they responded directly to particular negative references to religion in the Chinese press.15 In 1983, for instance, the Protestant magazine Tian feng refuted a negative presentation of the Bible in a Shanghai periodical, and Ding Guangxun wrote a letter to China Daily protesting an article in which religion and superstition were lumped together as one thing.16 More substantially, however, they sought to encourage the development on the theoretical level of a more positive view of the role of religion in Chinese socialist society. In this they joined with other scholars of religion, particularly those of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. The following discussion is not a full account of the changes in religious theory in the 1980s, but serves to indicate the role 1 4 For similar reasons, the influence of religion in "advanced" nations such as Japan and the United States, and among educated people, appears to have been puzzling to Chinese religious affairs bureaucrats and theorists. "One of their main problems seems to be why Einstein believed in God," noted Thomas Hahn of RAB officials he met in 1985 and 1986. See Hahn, "New Developments Concerning Buddhist and Taoist Monasteries," in Pas, The Turning of the Tide, p. 99 n. 15; also "Hongqi on Why Religion Exists in US, Japan," (Hongqi 1/12/84), in Documentation No. 17 (Aug 1985), pp. 4-6. 1 5 See Deng Zhaoming, "Some Prejudiced Understandings of Religion in the Press of China," Ching Feng 26:4 (1983), pp. 208-211. 1 6 Ibid., pp. 210-211. For the latter incident, see also Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 400-403. Such protests continued in later years; see Chen Gengxin, "Modern Works of Art and Literature," TF No. 10 (1985), in CSPT 1:1 (1986), pp. 34-35; for Buddhism see "Yong wenyi waiqu Fojiao de xianxiang yingdang jiuzheng (The Phenomenon of Distorting Buddhism in Literature and Art Should Be Corrected)," Favin No. 1 (1986), p. 18. 63 that Protestant thinkers played in the process.17 In particular, Protestants challenged (on Marxist grounds) the adequacy of Marx's dictum that "religion is the opiate of the people" for understanding religion in socialist China, which led them into challenging the view that religion is ultimately incompatible with socialism. 1. THE "THIRD OPIUM WAR" An important channel for the expression of the liberal views on religion sanctioned by the Protestant leadership was the internal-circulation journal Zongjiao ("Religion"), published twice per year from 1979 by the Religious Studies Institute of Nanjing University. Although attached to the University, this Institute was actually staffed by the teaching faculty of the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary.18 The journal served from its inception to broaden the parameters of discussion of religion in China. In 1980, for example, Zongjiao published a collation of statements by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Zhou Enlai on religion, neatly putting the single statement "Religion is the opiate of the people" into a wider and more complex interpretive context.19 To drive home the point, this was followed by an article arguing that the description of religion as an opiate "refers only to one 1 7 A fuller account is K.H. Ting (Ding Guangxun) and Wang Weifan, "Recent Developments in the Study of Religion," China and Ourselves No. 57 (Spring 1989), pp. 1-9. An abridged version of this article (with important omissions) was published as "Breakthroughs in Religious Research" in BR 32:12 (20-26 March, 1989), pp. 14-19. As protagonists in the debate, however, Ting and Wang understate the survival of rival viewpoints. 1 8 Yu, "Religious Studies in China at Crossroads," p. 170. 19 "Geming daoshi youguan ruhe duidai zongjiao wenti de bufen lunshu (Some Expositions by Revolutionary Leaders on the Question of How to Handle Religion)," Zongjiao No. 1 (1980), pp. 1-8. 64 aspect of the attributes of religion, and is, moreover, a metaphorical expression."20 In a 1984 issue of Zongjiao, the important article by Ru Wen (referred to in the previous chapter) prefaced its wide-ranging critique of "leftism" in the implementation of religious policy with a section discounting the applicability of certain phrases about religion in Marx and Lenin to the socialist situation, where there are no longer "blind forces of capitalism" or "exploiting classes."21 Other articles in the journal between 1985 and 1987 continued to discuss Marx's views on religion and how to understand "religion is opium."22 Naturally, this discussion was not just shadow-boxing, nor was it purely theoretical. On the contrary, the "Third Opium War," as it came to be dubbed, was a debate with direct policy ramifications between the liberal "Southern School" of religious studies, centred in Nanjing and Shanghai, and the "Northern School" of more doctrinaire Marxist theorists associated with the Institute of World Religions in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.23 In particular, the Beijing theorists Ren Jiyu and Lei Zhenchang, advocates of the "Marxist science of religion," were attacked 2 0 Qian Xue (pseud.), "Cong zongjiao yu yapian tanqi (A Discussion of Religion and Opium)," ibid. p. 13. 2 1 Ru Wen (pseud.), "Xuexi yige wenjian de xinde (Insights From Studying a Document)," Zongjiao No. 2 (1984). 2 2 For example, Zong Yao, "Shixi Makesi qingnian shiqi dui zongjiao de renshi fazhan (Tentative Analysis of the Development of the Young Marx's Understanding of Religion)," Zongjiao No. 1 (1986), pp. 17-23; Zhang Tianqing, "Zongjiao shi 'renmin de yapiari ma? (Is Religion 'the Opiate of the People'?)," Zongjiao No. 2 (1987), pp. 6,19-22. Regrettably I have not seen any issues of the journal between 1981 and 1984, or after 1987. 2 3 The term "Third Opium War" comes from Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments," p. 4. For the "Northern" and "Southern" schools, see Yu, "Religious Studies at Crossroads," p. 172. Some of the conservative arguments are outlined in Richard van Houten, "Is Religion Opium?," CCT 8:1 (1986), pp. 2-4. 65 by Protestant thinkers.24 The debate came out of internal-circulation journals and into the open in 1985, when Zhao Fusan used the yearly session of the CPPCC as a forum to press for a more liberal attitude towards religion.25 Zhao, a Vice-President of the national TSPM committee, was the most prominent Protestant intellectual in China, being at the time a Deputy Secretary-General in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He portrayed the intimate links between religion and culture in all civilizations, and argued that simply labelling religion as "a political tool of the reactionary classes" or as "opium" is unscientific and incomplete as a representation of the objective reality of religion in society. His speech reportedly received a standing ovation.26 Zhao Fusan followed this effort up with a major academic article entitled "A Reconsideration of Religion."27 Starting with the insistence that Marxism is an open system, not a set dogma, Zhao historicized the statement "religion is the opium of the people" through a careful exegesis of Marx's use of it and its intellectual context. He then argued that the essence of religion is different under socialism than under 2 4 Wang Weifan quoted Ren Jiyu (without naming him) and criticized his views in "Jinnianlai woguo xueshujie zongjiao yanjiu qingkuang jianjie (Introducing the Religious Studies Situation in China's Academic Circles in Recent Years)," Zongjiao No. 1 (1986), pp. 40-48. Lei Zhenchang is the unnamed author of a book lambasted by Xu Rulei in "Zongjiao shi shehui zhuyi shehui de shangceng jianzhu - du Zongjiao gailun yougan (Religion Belongs to the Superstructure of Socialist Society - Reaction to Introduction to Religion)," Zongjiao No. 2 (1985), pp. 4-12. 2 5 Zhao Fusan, "Zongjiao, jingshen wenming, minzu tuanjie (Religion, Spiritual Civilization, Ethnic Unity)," TF No. 7 (1985), pp. 2-5. 2 6 Brown, Christianity in the PRC, p. 193. 27 Zhongguo shehui kexue No. 3 (1986), trans. Social Sciences in China No. 3 (1986), in CSPT 2:2 (1987), pp. 4-16. See also the digest of Zhao's views in "Religion: a New Understanding," BR 18/8/86, in CSPT 1:3 (1986), pp. 32-33. 66 capitalism, and that the dogmatic assertion that "religion is an opiate" could only-obscure the complexity of religion and harm the cause of uniting religious believers with the rest of the people to work for socialist modernization. Official mediation of the opium debate came in the form of an article in the authoritative theoretical journal Hongqi by Jiang Ping, deputy head of the central United Front Work Department.28 This article was a direct critique of Zhao's views, although it did not name him. On the basis that class struggle still exists under socialism and religion is essentially a superstructural remnant of the pre-socialist economic base, Jiang reaffirmed the applicability of the opiate view of religion in socialist society, while also acknowledging that some writers had applied the concept too simplistically. In a rebuke to the attempts of religious believers like Zhao and the Zongjiao writers to enter the Marxist theoretical debate on religion on its own terms, he wrote, Although some people apply Marxism to the study of religion, they adapt Marxism haphazardly to the religious belief of their religious followers in order to satisfy their demands. Some people use religious points of view to explain Marxism. ... Academic circles should respect the ideological beliefs of religious circles, whereas religious circles should also respect academic circles' Marxist study of religious theory and propaganda activities ...29 2 8 "Study Conscientiously Marxist Theory on Religion and the Party Policy for Religion," Hongqi 1/5/86 (FE 8264 21/5/86), in CSPT 1:2 (1986), pp. 33-39. 67 2. RELIGION AND SOCIALIST SPIRITUAL CIVILIZATION Although Zhao Fusan and those who wrote for Zongjiao did not succeed in getting "religion is opium" written out of the official party line on religion, they did contribute to the concept's fading from prominence in Chinese academic circles.30 In another area, also, they had some success; by 1986 the party was acknowledging that religion was a positive force in society, and that religious morality could "play an auxiliary role" in the construction of "socialist spiritual civilization."31 This was also the outcome of a long debate between doctrinaire Marxists and scholars more sympathetic to religion. The assumption that religion was a residue of the old society naturally begged the question, particularly as religious believers grew in numbers in the early 1980s, of whether religious believers could ever play a positive role in socialist spiritual as well as material construction.32 Conservative theorists insisted that religion and "socialist spiritual civilization" are diametrically opposed, and stressed the need to balance freedom of religion with the propagation of atheism.33 This viewpoint was challenged by Protestant and other thinkers who sought to emphasize the fundamental changes in China's religions under the conditions of 3 0 See Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments," p. 4. 3 1 See "China's Policy Towards Religion is a Long-term Policy," Liaowam (o/s) 9/6/86, in CSPT 1:3 (1986), pp. 26-28. 3 2 The issue was first raised in 1982 by CCP ideologue Hu Qiaomu, according to Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments," p. 6. 3 3 See Lei Zhenchang, "Correctly Understanding Religious Problems During the Socialist Period," Guangming Daily 18/2/85, in Documentation 18 (Dec 1985), pp. 3-5. See also Lei's earlier article in Maclnnis Religion in China Today, pp. 38-41. 68 socialism, which had stripped them of their role in class exploitation and purged them of imperialist connections and feudal elements. They asserted that, with the exception of superstitious activities and of "counter-revolutionaries acting under the cloak of religion," religion could now be seen as fully compatible with socialism.34 As with the opium question, Zongjiao provided a forum for this discussion.35 One piece by the Protestant scholar Xu Rulei even argued that religion is part of the superstructure of socialism, not merely a remnant of the previous social order.36 While the CCP did not go this far, by 1986 the party had endorsed the idea that positive elements compatible with socialism were predominant in China's religions, and Politburo member Xi Zhongxun told a meeting of Chinese Protestants that "it is wrong to think of promoting [socialist spiritual] civilization as conflicting with citizens' believing in religion."37 These developments in religious scholarship were part of an overall shift in Chinese academic circles in the mid-1980s away from a reductionistic Marxism and 3 4 See Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments," pp. 4-7. 3 5 See in particular issues No. 2 of 1986 and No. 1 of 1987. 3 6 See his article cited in n. 22 above. These intellectual efforts were complemented by efforts in Tian fens? to show that Christians were good citizens, through emphasizing the social contributions of Christian believers, the high proportion of believers among model workers, model households and the like, and the social service enterprises established by churches. For examples see Documentation No. 15 (Oct 1984), p. 20; CSPT 1:2 (1986), p. 47; CSPT 2:1 (1987), pp. 54-55. 3 7 Quoted in Whyte, Unfinished Encounter, p. 367. See his discussion of these debates in religious theory on pp. 358-367; also Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground, pp. 89-92. 69 toward empirical research.38 They also probably contributed to the more favorable kind of attention that Christianity began to receive from Chinese thinkers outside of the religious studies field in the late 1980s. As discussion about the legacy of China's culture blossomed in intellectual circles from around 1987 on, a number of young thinkers began to study Christianity as the basis of Western civilization. Liu Xiaofeng, a professor of comparative literature at Shenzhen University, published a series of ten articles on the thought of modern theologians in the popular monthly Dushu ("Reading") in 1988-198939 The iconoclastic critic Liu Xiaobo also took an interest in Christianity, particularly in the doctrines of transcendence and repentance.40 Christianity to these thinkers was of interest less as a personal belief system than as a perspective from which to critique Chinese culture, but it is indicative of a profound intellectual shift that Christianity was being discussed favorably by non-Christian Chinese intellectuals, really for the first time since the early years of the May Fourth era.41 3 8 The People's Daily had even stated in December 1984 that "we cannot expect the works of Marx and Lenin ... solve the problems of today." For the academic climate of 1984-86, see Bill Brugger and David Kelly, Chinese Marxism in the Post-Mao Era (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990). 3 9 One of these, on the twentieth-century theologian Karl Barth, is translated as "God is God" in CTR (1989), pp. 66-76. 4 0 See Liu Xiaobo, "The Inspirations of New York: Meditations of an Iconoclast," translated Geremie Barme, Problems of Communism 40:1-2 (1991), pp. 113-118; also Barme, "Travelling Heavy: The Intellectual Baggage of the Chinese Diaspora," in ibid., pp. 94-112. 4 1 For an informative analysis of the ideas of these thinkers on Christianity, see Leung Ka-leung, "Reflections of Contemporary Chinese Intellectuals on Christianity and the Future of China," CGST  Tournal, No. 10 (Jan. 1991), pp. 27-60. This shift seems also to be signalled by the hosting of an international conference on Christianity and Chinese culture in May 1992 by the CASS Institute of World Religions, hitherto a bastion of the "Marxist science of religion." 70 The outcome of this process was not a corresponding shift in policy matters, however, for after the fall of Hu Yaobang in early 1987 the gulf between intellectuals and bureaucrats in China widened. Thus, as far as religious studies is concerned, while academic opinion had swung firmly behind the empirical approach of the Nanjing and Shanghai centres by 1988, the endorsement by the party of the liberal views espoused between 1984 and 1986 was limited, as we have seen.42 Influential voices within the bureaucracy and among prominent Beijing theorists with links to policy-makers continued after 1986 to press the opiate view of religion, the need to strengthen atheist propaganda, and the incompatibility of religion with socialism.43 1985-1989: THE EMERGENCE OF GRIEVANCES The attempts of Protestant intellectuals (all of whom were also TSPM/CCC leaders) to have their legitimacy as religious believers and yet patriotic, socialist Chinese fully endorsed by the state through rational argument during the period 1980 to 1986 were not entirely successful, then, and this must have contributed to 4 2 For academic opinion see Zhang Xinying, "Zhongguo zongjiaxue xuehui disanci huiyi zai Beijing juxing (Third Conference of the China Religious Studies Association Convened in Beijing)," Shijie  zongjiao yanjiu No. 2 (1989), pp. 151-152 (extracts in CSPT 4:3 {1989}, pp. 47-48); also Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments." 4 3 See the essays in Zongjiao, daode, wenhua ("Religion, Morality, Culture"), edited CASS Institute of World Religions and Principles of Religious Studies Research Office (Yinchuan: Ningxia Renmin Chubanshe, 1988). In 1989 some at a United Front theory conference reportedly stressed that religion is an opiate and defined atheism as integral to socialist spiritual civilization; see "Doubts About 'the Pursuit of an Atheistic Society,'" Renmin zhengxie bao 15/8/89, excerpts ZGTZT No. 1 (1990), in CSPT 5:2 (1990), pp. 37-39. See also "The Compatibility of Socialism and Religion," Lilun xinxi bao 148 (1988), repr. ZGTZT No. 2 (1989), in CSPT 4:2 (1989), pp. 79-80. 71 the sense of frustration with the state that became evident from 1988. Perhaps more important, however, were the continuing difficulties in getting the party's religious policy fully implemented in a time when church numbers were growing rapidly. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the years from 1984 saw a rapid growth in open churches and meeting points affiliated with the Three-Self Movement/China Christian Council, from 1,600 churches in 1984 to 4,044 churches and 17,000 meeting points in 1986, and 6,375 churches (2,683 of which were new buildings, not old premises returned) and 16,000 meeting points by the end of 1988. The figures for new converts baptized were given as 151,000 in 1986, and almost 300,000 in 1988, while the number of Christians overall was said to be over 3 million in 1986 and over 4.5 million in 1988.44 Rapid growth of this order posed great challenges for the TSPM/CCC organizations, to whom fell the responsibility for training pastors (after a twenty-year hiatus in ordinations) and lay workers with proper patriotic credentials and at least rudimentary theological knowledge to lead the congregations. This situation led to one of the crucial changes in the TSPM/CCC as compared to the pre-1966 days, the growing coherence of the TSPM/CCC as a national structure as the national leadership attempted from the mid-1980s to strengthen its communication 4 4 For 1986 statistics see Chapter Two n. 69; 1988 figures from "Jidujiao quanguo lianghui zuixin tongji shuzi (zhi 1988 niandi) (Newest Statistics from the Two National Christian Bodies - to the end of 1988)," Qiao 38 (Nov-Dec 1989), p. 3. 72 links with provincial and local TSPM committees and Christian Councils.45 This was done through visits by national leaders to different areas, and after 1987 also through national committees set up to coordinate theological education and the drafting of articles for church government (needed since the demise of denominations had left churches being run on an ad hoc basis)46 These developments seem to have made national Three-Self leaders more aware of problems in the implementation of religious policy around the country, particularly with regard to rural churches, and more ready to speak out about them. These problems were chiefly connected with the return of church property and the high-handed behaviour of state officials. 1. PROPERTY As noted in the preceding chapter, in 1980 the State Council issued a circular calling for the return of religious premises to religious believers as represented by the patriotic religious organizations, for compensation to be paid for the years of occupation, and for rent to be negotiated for any premises which remained occupied by mutual agreement. Concretely, this involved religious organizations (with the 4 5 Nevertheless, provincial and local autonomy remained strong, and the national bodies had no power to force compliance on lower-level units; see Philip L. Wickeri, "Christianity in Zhejiang: A Report from a Recent Visit to Protestant Churches in China," China Notes 28:2-3 (1990), pp. 577-578. For a demarcation dispute between the TSPM/CC committees of a province and of the capital city of the same province see "Present Church Situation in Hunan," Bridge 45 (Jan-Feb 1991), pp. 4-5. 4 6 For visits, see Cao Shengjie, "Learning from Grassroots Churches," TF No. 3 (1988), in CSPT 3:2 (1988), pp. 67-73; "Reports on the Work of the Standing Committee of TSM and CCC: Given at the 4th National Assembly," TF No. 11 (1986), extracts in CSPT 2:1 (1987), p. 46; for committees see "Quanguo lianghui changweihui tongguo de sixiang jueyi (Four Resolutions Passed by the Standing Committees of the Two National Christian Organizations)," TF No. 11 (1987), pp. 6-7. 73 help of the Religious Affairs departments) clarifying the ownership rights of religious property (some of which had been expropriated over thirty years earlier), and then negotiating the terms of compensation and relocation with the occupying units, and often with the government departments responsible for those units - by no means an easy business. Descriptions of individual cases indicate lengthy negotiations, red tape, occasionally direct obstruction, and frustration. Some examples from Guangdong are instructive. In Taishan County with its strong overseas links, fifty-one buildings had been restored to the Protestant organizations by the end of 1980, and six more churches were opened in the following two years.47 Nevertheless, problems still remained in late 1987, and they were resolved partly because Christian leaders in the county could point out how close this issue was to the hearts of wealthy Taishan Christians abroad, who had donated millions of Hong Kong and American dollars for a museum, schools and a library in the county48 In mountainous Meixian, on the other hand, a pastor held regular services in his home for over a hundred people from spring, 1979, until October, 1983, when the occupying unit handed over the church building.49 Progress was slower still in more remote areas of the province; visiting reporters from Hong Kong found in December 1988 that only one church had been opened 4 7 "Implementation of Religious Policy in Taishan," TF No. 1 (1984), in Documentation 14 (Jul 1984), p. 18. 48 "Duihua hui houjian chengxiao: Taishan xian luoshile jiaohui fangchan zhengce (Dialogue Will Bring Results: Taishan County Implements Church Property Policy)," TF No. 3 (1989) p. 9. 4 9 "Restoration of Eastgate Church, Meixian," TF No. 1 (1984), in Documentation 14 (Jul 1984), p. 19. 74 in the eight counties under Shaoguan municipality, and it had to share its premises with other units. "Although there are Christian groups in the area," they reported, "the lack of full-time workers and the reluctance of certain government officials make it difficult for these believers to reclaim their former property."50 In rare instances, Protestants resorted successfully to court action to secure their rights to certain buildings, but in other cases the pressure of the local Religious Affairs and United Front authorities was negated by other government departments.51 Some local governments ignored directives from higher-level government departments to return certain premises, and in some places governments tried to take back premises which had been returned to Christians.52 Given that the job performance of county cadres in the 1980s was almost exclusively calculated according to their county's economic achievements, it is not surprising that some were resistant to the demand to return or pay compensation for what was often valuable property in prime locations.53 5 0 "Churches in Northern Guangdong," Bridge 33 (Jan-Feb 1989), pp. 9,12. 5 1 See "The Strength of the Law" TF No. 4 (1984), in Documentation 16 (Apr 1985), p. 30; "Long Delay Over Changsha Property Settlement," TF No. 5 (1984), in Documentation 16 (Apr 1985), p. 31; Wu Xinghua, "Ruiyang ]idu jiaohui fangshi bei zhan (Ruiyang Protestant Church Property Occupied)," People's Daily 21/6/88 (appeal to the paper from Ruiyang Christians - the occupying unit was the local Public Security Bureau, which had ignored repeated complaints, including from the provincial RAB). 5 2 See "Qiangxing tuohui fuyintang zhifa hezai? (Where is the Legal Basis for Forcibly Knocking Down a Chapel?)," Hubei fazhi bao 23/2/89, repr. TF No. 6 (1989), p. 12. In this case the county government in Tongcheng, Hubei decided, without reference to the congregation (the legal owners), to sell the only church in the county to an important county enterprise. Only the physical intervention of 2,000 local Christians prevented it from being torn down, and even the intervention of a provincial vice-governor did not convince the county government to abandon its intention. 5 3 For the evaluation system for county cadres in Jiangsu, see Samuel P.S. Ho, Leave the Soil But  Not the Countryside (unpublished manuscript, 1991), Chapter 8. 75 Thus, although churches were opened very rapidly in China between 1984 and 1988, the continuing difficulties experienced in negotiations with government organs over property seem to have become increasingly exasperating to TSPM/CCC leaders. In a 1985 speech to the Shanghai PPCC, a TSPM leader highlighted the problems that still existed in securing the return of religious property, but couched his comments rather politely in terms of gratitude for the achievements to date.54 By 1988, however, Tian feng was printing more and more complaints about unresolved property issues, and religious leaders had started using the CPPCC as a forum to speak bluntly against "leftist" thinking among cadres over the property question.55 In 1989, Ding Guangxun complained to the CPPCC that while the number of Protestants in China had increased to several times what it had been in 1949, the number of churches open in the country was still only a fraction of the 1949 total.56 The tone Protestant leaders were adopting by 1989 can be illustrated by an example from Guangzhou, where the church was involved in a protracted tussle with the Guangzhou Municipal Housing Management Office over certain properties in the city. Tian feng printed a letter of complaint over this question from the Guangdong Christian Council to the provincial RAB, with an editorial introduction 5 4 Shen Derong, "The Conscientious Implementation of Religious Policy," TF No. 7 (1985), in Documentation 18 (Dec 1985), pp. 6-8. 5 5 Not only Protestants - see Buddhist leader Zhao Puchu's biting speech during the 1988 CPPCC session, in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 71-76. 5 6 "Bishop K.H. Ting Spoke at the CPPCC," Bridge 35 (May-Jun 1989), p. 4. 76 that minced no words: We have several times recently published appeals of this sort for the due implementation of the government7 s religious policy, not with the intention of denying the achievements of the government during the past ten years, but in the hope that the task of implementation may conclude as effectively as it began, lest success be missed for a lack of final effort. Where the policy has been implemented, it has not been entirely free from problems. Sometimes the compensation has been inadequate, sometimes the rent has been too low. The church has had to accept the solution in the spirit of making the best of a bad job. Some of the solutions have been no more than nominal, whereas in fact the church's right to its own property has merely been transferred from the organization which had been occupying it to the local Religious Affairs Bureau, so that the church still has no right to it. Situations like that are by no means universal, but the problem still remains!57 By 1989, then, the Protestant leaders had dropped the polite terminology of earlier in the decade and come into direct and open conflict with the state over the property issue.58 The expectations that ordinary Christians had of them played a role in this shift; the letter of the Guangdong Christian Council mentioned above, in appealing to the Religious Affairs Bureau to mediate, stated that "a great many church members believe that those who conduct business on behalf of our [Guangdong Christian] Council are cowardly, and that we ought to call a press conference to ensure public support."59 5 7 "Please Deal With This Seizure of Church Property," TF No. 7 (1989), in CSPT 4:3 (1989), pp. 54-55. 5 8 For a sampling of similar blunt complaints, see Xing Wen, "Wet weihu zongjiao hefa quanyi er nuli (Make Efforts To Protect the Legal Rights of Religion)," TF No. 6 (1989), pp. 12-13; "Xiuyan jiaotang beizhan, huyu youguan lingdao bangzhu jiejue (Xiuyan Church Occupied - An Appeal to Concerned Leaders to Help Find a Solution)," TF No. 6 (1989), p. 13; pieces cited in note 83 below. 77 2. BEHAVIOUR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS CADRES Another source of Protestant discontent with the state which emerged more and more clearly in the late 1980s was the interference of Religious Affairs cadres in the running of churches in the name of "strengthening management" over religious affairs. As we saw in the preceding chapter, Document 19 had stressed the need for the religious organizations to be allowed to manage their own affairs without bureaucratic intervention if they were to be effective in winning over religious believers. However, as the state's concern about the growth of Christianity (and other religions) rose over the decade, the rhetoric of strengthening the state's control over religious affairs became increasingly predominant, and Protestant leaders began to complain openly about the intervention of state personnel in the internal running of the churches. Details of what forms such intervention was taking are scarce. Clearly it included the forcing of rigid regulations and "patriotic covenants" on Three-Self committees in some locations castigated by "Ru Wen" in 1984.60 In 1988 Ding Guangxun alleged that Religious Affairs cadres had in many places looked for the most malleable people to put in charge of the church, regardless of whether they had the trust of believers or not, and had even inserted CCP members into the churches as "atheist church leaders."61 Churches were being forced to put up with 6 0 Ru Wen, "Xuexi yige wenjian de xinde (Insights from Studying a Document)," Zongjiao No. 2 (1984). 6 1 Ding Guangxun "Ding Guangxun fandui Guangdong sheng zongjiao zhengce (Ding Guangxun Opposes Guangdong Province Religious Policy)," in Baixing 187 (1/3/89), p. 19. There have been repeated rumours of secret party members in the highest levels of the religious leadership. For one 78 state intervention in their personnel decisions, their finances, and (as noted above) their property rights.62 The drive towards "strengthening management," instead of targetting infiltration and illegal activities, was being interpreted by RAB cadres as meaning that management of the patriotic religious organizations themselves had to be strengthened.63 State intrusions into the management of the church, and the complacency of older church leaders in the face of such intrusions, were apparently resented by the young students who began to graduate from China's Protestant seminaries and start work in the churches from the mid-1980s.64 A number of accounts speak of tension between young church workers and the pastors they worked under, and one report states outright that enthusiastic young theological graduates believed the United Front Department of the party held the real power in the church. These young church workers were annoyed by the older pastors' flattering of state cadres and tolerance of their impositions, while the old feared that the young would disturb the status quo in the church/state relationship, which was, after all, despite the state substantiated case, see "Li Chuwen: A 'Journalist' in Hong Kong," CCT 5:6 (1983), p. 9. In the case of Taoism in the 1980s, Thomas Hahn reported that the state routinely put CCP "advisors" on the local committees of the Taoist Association; see Hahn, "New Developments," p. 83. 6 2 "Bishop Ting's Statement at the Meeting with Comrade Jiang Zemin," Bridge 46 (Mar-Apr 1991), p. 5. 6 3 Ibid. 6 4 Six hundred had graduated by 1988, and over 400 of these were engaged in church work; see "National Church Affairs Committee," TF No. 11 (1988), in CSPT 4:1 (1989), p. 54. 79 intrusions, the best they had experienced in forty years.65 By 1988, these matters had come to a head for the TSPM/CCC national leadership. In September 1988, a meeting of top church leaders discussed problems in the church/state relationship, in particular complaining of the arbitrary closure of home meeting points and other forms of interference in church activities by cadres. The meeting noted that some cadres still held "leftist" views on religion, and that "there were now a great many cadres newly appointed to religious affairs departments, [with] very little knowledge" of religion.66 "Lively discussion" took place over these issues between the delegates and three cadres attending the meeting, Tian feng reported.67 A few months later, a meeting of the full committees of the national TSPM and CCC debated a proposal to "rationalize relations" between the government and the Christian organizations and between the TSPM and the CCC. 6 8 Delegates raised "objections and criticisms ... concerning the varying degrees of restriction, 6 5 "Guangdong Seminary Graduates," Bridge 37 (Sep-Oct 1989), pp. 18-19. See also "The Problems of Theological Graduates in China," Bridge 34 (Mar-Apr 1989), pp. 3-7; "Whither Chinese Theological Students?" Bridge 34 (Mar-Apr 1989), pp. 8-9; "On 'Sadduceeism' in the Chinese Church," Bridge 30 (Jul-Aug 1988), pp. 14-16. 6 6 "National Church Affairs Committee," JF No. 11 (1988), in CSPI 4:1 (1989), p. 55. Philip Wickeri reported in 1990 that, in Zhejiang at least, the RAB was a small bureaucracy (with around 120 fulltime staff in the whole province), and most cadres were post-1979 appointees, without the anti-religious prejudices of their pre-1966 predecessors, but also without much knowledge of religion. A job in the RAB was not considered a good career posting. See Wickeri, "Christianity in Zhejiang," pp. 579-580. 6 7 "National Church Affairs Committee," TF No. 11 (1988), in CSPT 4:1 (1989), p. 56. 6 8 "Minutes of the Third Joint Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Fourth Chinese Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the Second National Christian Council," press release from the Amity Foundation, Hong Kong, 12/4/89. See "TSPM Denies Dissolution Reports," CNCR 1349 (12/4/89). 80 domination and interference in church affairs and transgression of the legal rights of churches on the part of some local officials."69 Such "domination" could take other forms besides interference in the affairs of churches. In 1989, it was reported that the director and deputy director of the Shantou Municipality Religious Affairs Bureau had been disciplined for corruption. They and two underlings had used their power of approval over new construction of religious buildings to extort kickbacks during the renovation of a Buddhist temple, and they had forced the Shantou TSPM to provide them with housing.70 Also in 1989, on a Sunday in full view of a crowd of church-goers, a theological student was severely beaten up by a driver for the city RAB. The man had parked his car in the church yard (which was apparently routinely taken over as a parking lot by the RAB), knocking down some bicycles in the process, and he assaulted the student when the latter tried to get him to put the bicycles back in order before leaving.71 This incident occurred on May 14,1989, at the height of the student demonstrations, and it was instrumental in prompting the students at Nanjing Seminary (the largest in the country) to demonstrate. A wall poster which went up at the seminary that day vividly expresses the feeling of these students, and probably sums up also some of the frustrations of the Protestant church leadership 6 9 "Minutes of the Third Joint Meeting," p. 4. 7 0 "Religious Bureau Heads Punished," Asia Focus (16/9/89), citing Dasons bao reports on July 21 and August 23; "Zongjiaoju siguanyuan pinzvu, bei ren chengwei 'shijiao ren' (Four RAB Officials Corrupt, Nicknamed 'Living Off Religion')," Xinbao 8/6/90. 7 1 "The St. Paul's Church Incident," Bridge 36 (Jul-Aug, 1989), pp. 7-8. The RAB refused to take any action beyond a disciplinary warning against the driver. 81 under the conditions discussed above: ... We are Christians, yet also citizens, who should enjoy the full rights bestowed by the law. However, these days Christians are deprived of human rights. We are discriminated against in society and do not have true freedom of belief, normal religious activities are interfered with, and our physical safety is not guaranteed. How could we be willing to be second-class citizens of this society? We can no longer remain silent; we will cry out: "Give us back our human rights! Give us back our liberty!!!"72 SPRING, 1989: RECOVERING A TRANSCENDENT PATRIOTISM As the preceding quote shows, the 1989 demonstrations brought into sharp focus the underlying tensions felt by many urban Protestants within the Three-Self umbrella in Chinese society. Despite their willingness to cooperate with the state by accepting the leadership of the Three-Self Movement, espousing loyalty to the party, and keeping religious activities within the bounds of "normality" as defined by the state's religious policy, they were denied, they felt, full acceptance as citizens of a socialist China, and were even denied the limited autonomy in religious activities promised under the party's religious policy. They thus had special reasons to share with other urban Chinese the sense of frustration with the government as they experienced it in daily life which fuelled the mass support for the student-led demonstrations in 1989. In Nanjing, Beijing and other cities, Chinese seminary students, encouraged Photograph of wall poster in ibid., p. 18. 82 by at least some of their teachers, marched with their peers from the regular universities, or served refreshments to marchers.73 Other church members, from both the Three-Self churches and some urban independent house churces, also took part in demonstrations.74 Of even greater significance was the release, by Bishop Ding Guangxun in the name of the TSPM/CCC national committees on May 18, of a press statement supporting the hunger strike by students in Beijing as a "patriotic activity" and calling on party leaders to dialogue with the students.75 This was followed by other statements by Protestant leaders on May 24 and 25.76 As a member of the NPC Standing Committee, Ding also signed a petition circulated among the members calling for an emergency meeting of the committee (nominally China's highest legislative body, to whom state personnel are responsible) - an implicit criticism of the handling of the crisis by the government and particular the Premier of the State Council, Li Peng.77 7 3 See "Unshirkable Duty - Theological Students Support Student Movement," Bridge 36 (Jul-Aug 1989), pp. 13-14. 7 4 See Tony Lambert, "Where Was God During the Massacre?" On Being (Sep 1989), pp. 10-11; Ron MacMillan, "Democracy Fever Grips China: How Involved is the Church?" NNI 12/6/89, pp. 27-31. Many house churches remained aloof from the demonstrations, however, because of the radical separation of secular and sacred spheres in conservative Chinese Protestant theology; see '"Lord, Have Mercy on These Ignorant Students!' - Response of Home Meeting Groups Towards the Democratic Movement," Bridge 36 (Jul-Aug 1989), pp. 15-16. 7 5 See "Christians Support the Patriotic Actions of the Chinese Students," China Notes 27:2 (1989), p. 520. 7 6 See "Extremely Anxious - The Attitude of Church Leaders in China," Bridge 36 (Jul-Aug 1989), pp. 11-12. 7 7 See ibid, and "Church Sides With Protesters As Turmoil Continues," CNCR 1374 (26/5/89). 83 Following the crushing of the protests on June 3 and 4, Ding Guangxun and CCC Vice-President Han Wenzao, both recently returned from abroad, sent a communique to overseas churches deploring the use of force (although not allocating blame) and quoting certain Bible verses, among them Amos 5:24: "Let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream."78 Within China, while the TSPM/CCC, like every other institution in China, had to express its support for the party's action against the "turmoil," the Protestant bodies were slower than the "democratic parties" or the other religious groups to fall into line, and Ding, in his reported remarks at the NPC Standing Committee meetings in early July and late August (when many members were expressing support for the crushing of the demonstrations), stressed the need to fight corruption in the party.79 Since its founding in the 1950s, the "patriotism" of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (as for all citizens of China) had been equated with loyalty to the CCP regime and revolution, rather than any concept of the nation as transcending present political realities. In theological terms, Three-Self leaders justified this loyalty in two ways: as a decision by the church to stand on the side of the people, which meant supporting the Communist Party as the representative of the people; and because 7 8 See "A Communique from Church Leaders in China," China Notes 27:2 (1989), p. 519. 7 9 See "Dilemma for Church Leader As Official Line Proclaimed," CNCR 1383 (22/6/89); "Veiled Dissent At Legislative Meeting," CNCR 1394 (7/7/89); "TSPM/CCC Fall Into Line Behind Party," CNCR 1398 (14/7/89); "Bishop Ding Present at NPC Standing Committee Meeting," CNCR 1434 (8/9/89); "Responses of Chinese Church Leadership to Tiananmen Affairs After June 4," Bridge 37 (Sep-Oct 1989), p. 3. 84 of the concrete benefits the CCP had brought to the people.80 Nevertheless, the good of the people remained uppermost in these rationales, leaving the possibility that if the Chinese Communist Party were ever to be seen as no longer standing for the people, the church would side with the latter, not the former. When the TSPM/CCC leaders in 1989 used the term "patriotic" to describe the hunger strikes, therefore, it entailed a significant shift in the usage of the term, a rediscovery of the transcendent ideal of the "nation" as distinct from the state, and a recognition of a split between "the party" and "the people." In quoting verses like the one above, also, they were referring to transcendent concepts of justice and righteousness, which are always inherent in Christian faith (even if unexpressed) and always a potential basis from which to critique any social system or government. 1988-1990: PRESSING FOR INSTITUTIONAL AUTONOMY Nevertheless, the spring of 1989 was a very special situation, and it remains at the date of writing the only occasion on which the leaders of the TSPM/CCC have publicly expressed opposition to the state on any matter outside of the religious sphere. Within that sphere, however, their protests at state behaviour continued and accelerated after June 1989. The key turning point which brought the tensions between the TSPM/CCC 8 0 See for example Chen Zemin, "Reconciliation with the People," in Chu and Lind, A New  Beginning, pp. 16-20; Shen Yifan, "Meditative Reflection, ibid, p. 41; Jiang Peifen, "An Evangelical Perspective," ibid, pp. 84-87. 85 and the state to the surface was the legislation passed in May, 1988, by Guangdong Province, and its publication abroad in September.81 As the previous chapter outlined, this law was intended to strengthen the state's control over religious activities and to provide a legal basis on which to clamp down on uncooperative religious groups (such as Lin Xiangao's house church) by registering legal religious venues and religious clergy. By requiring all churches and meeting points to be registered with the government and by legislating a role as management organs under the state for the TSPM/CCC, this law brought the underlying issue between the state and the Protestant leadership, the nature of the TSPM/CCC, into stark relief. Were these bodies, as the state regarded them, coopted institutions to manage religious activities under close state supervision, or were they, as Protestant leaders were seeking to assert, non-political bodies managing church affairs independently according to the tenets of Protestant faith? Ding Guangxun, writing on behalf of the Protestant leadership, raised these issues in a strongly-worded letter of protest to the central Religious Affairs Bureau in September 1988.82 The task of the Protestant bodies, he insisted, should be to represent the interests of the religion, but these regulations made them accessories to the suppression of unauthorized meeting points, and could only further alienate Protestant believers from the TSPM/CCC. In terms reminiscent of the frustration 81 "Guangdong sheng zongjiao huodong changsuo xingzheng guanli guiding (Guangdong Province Regulations on the Administration and Management of Places of Religious Activity)," Baixins 175 (1/9/88) and ZYJ 67 (Sep-Oct 1988) pp. 21-22, in Maclnnis, Religion in China Today, pp. 45-49. 8 2 This letter was published abroad, although not as far as is known at Ding's behest, in March 1989; the text is in Baixins 187 (1/3/89), pp. 17-18, and ZYJ 70 (Mar-Apr 1989), pp. 17-19. 86 expressed by the student wall poster quoted above, he urged the RAB to respond in some way to his arguments, even if only to reject them: "Do not, as when I have written in the past on crucial issues such as this, simply ignore my correspondence." This letter was not published in China, but later published statements by Ding and other Chinese Protestant leaders made many of the same points. In fact, what amounted to a TSPM/CCC lobbying position vis-a-vis the state emerged, especially from mid-1989. The complaints were the ones outlined above: the disrespect for religious believers in the media and in the writings of "opium" theorists; the property question; and the ignorance, disrespect, and impositions of cadres.83 The "platform" that developed can be summed up as a demand for a sphere of autonomy for the church to be recognized by the state and safeguarded in law. Behind this demand was a debate which had lasted for most of the 1980s concerning the drafting of a law on religion. Such a law had been talked about ever since Document 19 was issued in 1982, and concrete steps to draft one appear to have been taken from 1987.84 Religious leaders took the initiative in drafting a proposed law along lines acceptable to them, while the Religious Affairs Bureau also worked on drafting what was apparently quite a different style of law.85 A 8 3 See for example Luo Guanzong, "Xizoang zhengque lijie zongjiao he zongjiao zhengce (We Hope Religion and the Religious Policy Can Be Accurately Understood)," TF No. 7 (1989), pp. 11-13; Shen Derong, "CCP Cadres Should Study and Implement the Religious Policies of the Party," TF No. 6 (1990), in CSPT 5:3 (1990), p. 81. Shen urged that the religious policy of the party be made a compulsory subject in all cadre training schools. 8 4 See Zhao Puchu, "Call for a New Look at an Outdated Policy," in Maclnnis, Religion in China  Today, p. 76. 8 5 According to Ding in Chris Woehr and Ron MacMillan, "China's Three-Self Leaders Say Church is Growing, Admit Problems Within Organizational Structure," NNI 15/11/88, p. 21. 87 discussion document put out by the RAB in April 1988 and leaked in Hong Kong gives an idea of the issues over which the discussants (national religious leaders and leaders of the RAB and other relevant departments) disagreed. There were divergent views over the issue of whether the law should require the registration of religious venues and personnel, and over the terms "abnormal religious activities" and "administrative leadership" of the RAB over religious bodies, with some discussants (presumably religious leaders and liberal theorists) favoring dropping these terms.86 As we have seen, the registration issue was preempted by Guangdong Province, over-riding the objections of religious leaders to the concept at the national level. This brought the behind-the-scenes lobbying on the religious law into the open. The last chapter showed that the state was by 1988 placing a high priority on strengthening its grip on religious life, due to the growth of religions and to the "problems" of unregulated activities and overseas "infiltration." It became clear in 1988/1989 that this was what the state conceived the purpose of a religious law to be.87 The laws passed in Guangdong and Xinjiang certainly had this thrust.88 Protestants, on the other hand, were by 1989 using their magazines to criticize 8 6 "Discussion Document Shows Shape of Religious Law," CNCR 1260 (26/10/88); "Guowuyuan zongjiaofa qicao xiaozu de baogao (State Council Religious Law Drafting Group Report)," ZYT 66 (Jul-Aug 1988), pp. 15-16. 8 7 See for example Jiang Zhimin and Xu Zugen, "Miandui shizijk de sikao - Zhongguo 'Jidujiao re' toushi (Thoughts on Confronting the Cross - Perspective on China's 'Christianity Fever7)," Liaowam (o/s) No. 5 (1989), p. 9, abridged as "The Surge in China's Christianity," BR (20-26 March, 1989), p. 21. 8 8 For the Guangdong law see note 81 above; for the Xinjiang laws, see CSPT 5:3 (1990), pp. 42-47. 88 the idea of "strengthening management" as the purpose of a religious law and to press for a law which would guarantee their rights and freedoms.89 This was expressed by some in terms of the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, and by other in terms of religious freedom as a fundamental human right which it is incumbent on all civilized governments to respect.90 One writer criticized the attitude that the freedoms granted in the Constitution are gifts bestowed by the party, and criticized the article on religion in the 1982 Constitution itself as too negative.91 In specific terms, Protestants demanded a law which would clearly differentiate between the organs of the state and the religious organizations, define their respective jurisdictions, and give religious organizations a legal basis on which to challenge violations of their jurisdiction by the state.92 Again on the basis of the religious freedom in the Constitution, which was not limited to particular venues or groups, they sought to abrogate the role alloted to the TSPM/CCC by the state, as the umbrella under which Protestant activities could be considered "normal" and 8 9 See Liao Shui, "Women xiwangzhong de zongjiaofa," TF No. 8 (1989), excerpts in "The Law on Religion We Hope For," CSPT 4:3 (1989), pp. 51-52. Buddhists were voicing the same concerns; see Han Peiji, "Religious Matters and Religious Law," Fayin No. 5 (1989), in CSPT 4:3 (1989), pp. 72-73. 9 0 For the first approach, see Liao Shui, cited n. 86 above; for the second, more daring approach, see Yao Minquan, "Xiaoyi woguo de zongjiao Ufa (Brief Comments on Our Country's Religion Legislation)," TF No. 7 (1989), pp. 9-10. 9 1 Yang Zhouhai, "On Religious Freedom," Hnling shenxue zhi (1989), in CSPT 5:1 (1990), pp. 71-73, and in CTR (1989), p. 7ff. 9 2 See for example Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments in Religious Research," pp. 8-9; Ding Guangxun, "Zhengjiao yao fenkai (Religion and the State Must Be Separate)," ZYT 70 (Mar-Apr 1989), p. 20. 89 thus legal.93 Bishop Ding in particular argued strongly for the tolerance of house churches opposed to the Three-Self Movement as long as they were not anti-government and were not associated with foreign infiltration.94 Others argued against the use of a third category between "normal" and "illegal" religious activities, namely "abnormal" religious activities, charging that the only purpose for such a category would be to clamp down on independent religious groups.95 In short, by 1989/90 China's Protestant leaders were lobbying for a new style of relationship with the state, under which the TSPM/CCC would be a voluntary, not a prescriptive organization, the state would respect the independence of religious bodies in their internal management, and the "rule of men" in the relationship between local cadres and local churches would be replaced by a clearly-defined, constitutionally-based rule of law guaranteeing the "separation of church and state."96 Unlike the party's concept of law as in the service of the state, Protestants were demanding a law to which the state and its functionaries would be subject. 9 3 See Bao Zhimin, "Facing Reality and Responding to Challenges: On Ten Years of Chinese Church Reconstruction," Jinling shenxue zhi 10 (Jun 1989), in CTR (1989), p. 5. 9 4 See Ding's letter to the RAB protesting the Guangdong legislation, ZYT 70 (Mar-Apr 1989), pp. 17-18. 9 5 A1988 article in the prestigious Guangrning Daily by the "opium" theorist Lei Zhenchang, who had earlier been attacked by Protestant theorists, sparked this debate; see Bao Zhimin, "Zhengque kandai zongjiao huodong - yu Lei Zhenchang tongzhi shangque (Take a Correct View of Religious Activities - Taking Issue With Comrade Lei Zhenchang)," Zomiiao No. 2 (1988), abridged in TF No. 3 (1989), pp. 7-9 (also in CTR {1989}, pp. 21-26); Xing Wen, "Improper Religious Activities," TF No. 5 (1989), in CSPT 4:2 (1989), pp. 90-92. See "Bishop Ting Spoke At the CPPCC," Bridge 35 (May-Jun 1989), pp. 3-4. CONCLUSION 90 The leaders of the TSPM/CCC had begun the 1980s hopeful that they had a workable understanding with the state in the form of the revived United Front, under which, in theory, the Communist Party could unite non-Communist citizens under its leadership on the basis of their common interest in building a strong, modern nation. Under this policy, Protestant leaders thought, they would be accepted as equal citizens of a socialist China, and in return for their "patriotism" would be trusted by the party to run the church. Over the decade, however, their frustration grew as this trust and acceptance were not accorded them in practice. The result was that, by 1990, the leaders of the national TSPM/CCC had abandoned the deferential language appropriate to a patron-client relationship and had begun to use the channels at their disposal to express openly their discontent with the state. In overseas relations, also, they had moved from being apologists for the regime and its religious policy towards using their links abroad as leverage in their disputes with the state.97 It seems that this change of stance towards the state among the national leadership was matched on the local level, at least in some places. In Guangdong, the Guangzhou City TSPM/CC distanced itself from the 9 7 Again, the Guangdong legislation was the turning point: in September 1988 Ding wrote to the RAB, "[we] are extremely anxious that everything done by the government conform to the constitution, laws and policies, thereby ensuring that we can defend its actions. However, these three Guangdong documents put us in a very difficult position. If the situation is not redressed, we can  only express our objections inside China and abroad;" ZYT 70 (Mar-Apr 1989), p. 19 (my emphasis). Defending the government became untenable after this; cf. the two interviews of Ewing J. Carroll with Ding, one dated October 1987 and the other November 1988, in Maclnnis, Religion in China  Today, pp. 353-359. 91 action taken against Lin Xiangao in February 1990.98 In Kunming, a visitor was astonished to hear a pastor in a major open church criticizing from the pulpit the government's closure of twenty meeting points in the city.99 The direct pressures which led to this shift were the continuing equating of religious belief with backwardness and ignorance by party theorists and in the official media, and, even more, the concrete encroachments on the churches by state cadres and the difficulties in securing the return of Protestant property; in short, the failure of the state to live up to the ideal of Document 19. Why these problems were sufficient to make TSPM/CCC leaders cross the threshold between behind-the-scenes lobbying and public disagreement is more difficult to discern. In general terms, however, the TSPM/CCC occupied an uncomfortable middle ground between the state and Protestant believers under the religious policy spelled out in Document 19. Loyalty was expected of it by the state, but the state also expected it to win over and unite Protestant believers; those believers were on the whole sceptical of the TSPM/CCC, however, and their scepticism was confirmed whenever the state was seen to have too great a hand in the churches. As the state sought to impose greater control on Protestant activities in very overt ways from 1988 on, a point was reached at which Three-Self leaders decided that the only way to save their credibility with Protestant believers was to make public their opposition to the state's actions. 98 "Zhonggong zongjiao zhengce - Guangzhou jiaohui piping (Guangzhou Church Criticizes CCP Religious Policy)," Xingdao Daily (HK) 6/3/90. This was in contrast to 1982, when the Guangzhou TSPM/CC released a strong statement supporting the government's closure of Lin's church in that year; see text in Adeney, China: The Church's Long March, pp. 227-229. 9 9 Anthony P.B. Lambert, "The Many Faces of China's Three-Self Church," NNI11/12/90, p. 22. CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSION 92 1. THE ARGUMENT RESTATED China's religious policy as epitomised by Document 19 attempted to restore order and state supervision to an area of social life which had blossomed outside of its control during the Maoist era. In that regard, while the policy was on the one hand a pragmatic lifting of restrictions on religious belief and activity, it was at the same time an attempt to channel that belief and activity in directions considered positive, and within limits considered acceptable, by the state. These state aims were to be accomplished through the "patriotic religious organizations," which would be coopted institutions ensuring that religious believers would accept party leadership, dedicate themselves to the national goals set by the state (the Four Modernizations), and refuse to be linked to "hostile religious forces" abroad. In the case of Protestants, however, this policy did not succeed in accomplishing the state's objectives, as unsupervised Protestant activities and unwelcome attempts by foreign Protestant groups to play a role in the evangelization of China persisted over the decade. These and more general factors led to a growing desire on the part of the state to strengthen control over Protestant religious activities, but the state's efforts to strengthen control served to undermine the credibility of the TSPM/CCC with Protestant believers, contributing to the failure of the policy of uniting Protestants under a single coopted institutional structure. At the same time, Protestant leaders were seeking to have their religion and 93 their institutional autonomy respected by the state and in Chinese society at large. However, the continuing negative theoretical evaluation of religion in party ideology, the uneven implementation of the policy on religious property, and the interference of state officials in the running of the church became sources of increasing frustration for the leadership of the TSPM/CCC as the decade progressed. This came to a head in 1988, when the publication of the Guangdong legislation on religious activities marked a turning point in the state's efforts to consolidate control over Protestantism. Protestant leaders from then on moved towards the public articulation within China and abroad of their dissatisfaction with the status quo in the state's relationship to them. As of 1990, Protestant leaders were pressing for the state to recognize and encode in law the autonomy of the church, while the state was more anxious than ever in the post-Tiananmen domestic and international climate to tighten its control over the church, and over society in general. 2. LIMITS OF THE CHANGE Nevertheless, the religious law issue apparently remained deadlocked as of 1990; the state had not chosen to override the objections of Protestant and other religious leaders by enacting a law along the Guangdong lines on the national level. Likewise, the demands of the Protestant leaders had extended only to seeking a depoliticized, autonomous sphere for religion; they had not publicly abandoned their support for the state on wider issues. Even during the Tiananmen demonstrations, their support for the students was expressed in terms of remonstrance; the basic 94 legitimacy of the state was not being questioned. After the crushing of the protests, their disapproval of the state's use of force was expressed in muted terms, to foreigners only. Domestically Tian feng printed declarations of support for the post-Tiananmen party line even while continuing to press for a better deal for the church.1 Thus, while Protestant leaders had begun to give voice to conflicts with the state by the end of the 1980s, it would seem that this change was less fundamental than might at first appear. This can be understood if China's religious policy is conceived as an alliance between the state and the rationalized, urban-based, elite-oriented forms of each religion, to bring into line the more devotional, emotional, mostly rural forms, as Richard Madsen suggested in an insightful article in 1979. When China's Communist leaders gained power, Madsen wrote, ... they were willing to tolerate those relatively rationalized forms of Christianity which encouraged their followers to work together with government elites to solve the problems of the nation as a whole, [but] they despised more devotional forms of Christian theology and were especially worried about the political implications of the localistic tendencies [of] ... this type of religious faith.2 The TSPM leaders do indeed represent the liberal, urban, "rationalized" forms of Protestantism (most of them have backgrounds in the YMCA/YWCA or the 1 Rimmington and Hunter suggest that "the traditional Chinese tolerance of public conformity and private disagreement" may make this situation (having to support the state outwardly while dissenting inwardly) less stressful for China's Protestant leaders than it would be for people from some other cultures; see their "Religion and Social Change," pp. 12-13. 2 Madsen, "Religion and Feudal Superstition: Implications of the PRC's Religious Policy for the Christian Encounter with China," Ching Feng 22:4 (1979), esp. p. 210. Madsen sees in this a parallel with the shared suspicion of peasant religion between the Confucian gentry and the state in late imperial China. 95 "mainline" denominations). Moreover, they share with the state two very basic goals with regard to the church situation, although they have different reasons from the state for holding those goals. They agree with the state on the need to prevent foreign evangelism in China; to the church leaders this raises the threat of a return of the Chinese church to a subordinate position under foreign churches, while to the state it represents a threat of political subversion. They also, generally speaking, agree with the state that itinerant evangelism and the unsupervised spread of Christian movements in the countryside need to be checked, although for the church leaders this may be a question of counteracting heresies, while the state sees it as a matter of preventing counter-revolution. Neither element of this fundamental alliance of interests with the state had been abandoned by TSPM/CCC leaders as of 1990, although Ding and others had started to argue for the tolerance of house churches not affiliated with the Three-Self Movement as long as they adhered to the principles of self-government, self-support and self-propagation.3 Furthermore, in seeking for more autonomy from the state, Protestant leaders have for the most part phrased their demands in terms of the state's own best interests and justified them on the basis of the more enlightened expressions of the state's own policy. Thus, in a strong statement to CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin in 1991, Ding Guangxun invoked the memory of the late Zhou Enlai and the spirit of Document 19 to argue against the state's attempts to strengthen its 3 The anti-"infiltration" and anti-itinerant evangelism stance of the TSPM/CCC was if anything strengthened after the Tiananmen crackdown; see Shen Yifan's report in TF No. 11 (1990), reported as "Hard-liners Strengthen Control of the TSPM," in the O.M.F. "Pray for China Fellowship" newsletter (Feb 1991). 96 supervision over religious affairs.4 He repeated his earlier warnings that the state's impositions on the church in the name of strengthening supervision were undermining the credibility of the TSPM/CCC, and that attempts by the state to suppress unregistered churches would only drive them underground, something clearly undesirable from the state's point of view.5 Their new-found assertiveness notwithstanding, then, there remains intact an implicit "deal" between the state and the TSPM/CCC leaders. The demands of those leaders are for a depoliticized zone of autonomy for Protestantism, but their discontent with the status quo has not extended to challenging the political legitimacy of the state, nor to questioning the legitimacy of the state's demand that all individuals and institutions uphold its leadership. What they are seeking as the correct formulation of the relationship between the state and the religious bodies is summed up in the phrase, "leadership in politics, self-government in religion."6 Even their unhappiness with the role alloted to them by the ideology of the state has led only to efforts through lobbying to modify the ideology, not to any questioning of the underlying assumption that defining a unifying ideology for the country is a legitimate and necessary function of the state. 4 He also appealed to Chinese nationalism (and neatly invoked the crisis of Soviet socialism) by arguing that China's religious work had yet to distinguish itself from the Russian model. 5 "Bishop Ting's Statement at the Meeting with Comrade Jiang Zemin," Bridge 46 (Mar-Apr 1991), pp. 3-5. For similar arguments for a liberal religious policy giving full play to the patriotic religious organizations as being in the state's best interests, see the Shanghai Academy religious studies scholar Luo Zhufeng, "Religious Questions in the Early Stages of Socialism," in CTR (1989), pp. 27-33. 6 In Ting and Wang, "Recent Developments," p. 9. 97 3. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF "CIVIL SOCIETY" IN CHINA In a number of respects, the change in the relationship between the state and the TSPM/CCC leaders over the 1980s is parallel to the experience of other social groups in China. To take one example, the Protestant leaders and intellectuals are parallel in that both groups are victims of past political campaigns, both are accorded less than full respect by the party, and both are promised certain "freedoms" (freedom of religious belief, freedom to "let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend") which are substantially curtailed in practice. In both cases, there has been a fundamental tension between the state's claim of, in principle, absolute political and ideological authority, and the "freedoms" granted by the state (on pragmatic grounds) to society. In response, both intellectuals and Protestant leaders have sought to have a sphere of autonomy from the state for their particular groups recognized and encoded in law, ironically leading the most convinced Marxist philosophers in China into demands for a new form of state/society relationship based on constitutional rule.7 Nevertheless, like the Protestant leaders, most of the intellectuals who advocate the depoliticization of intellectual life have stopped short of a fundamental rejection of the party's monopoly on intellectual and political authority.8 After all, to do so would also 7 See Brugger and Kelly, Chinese Marxism, pp. 159-169. 8 Fang Lizhi, whose demands for the autonomy of science from politics took him into demands for pluralism and individual rights, is a notable exception; see James H. Williams, "Fang Lizhi's Expanding Universe," CQ123 (Sep 1990), pp. 459-484. 98 imply a rejection of their privileged role under the existing system.9 The state, on the other hand, has continued to reject any moves to subject the state itself to the constitution and laws of the nation.10 In some cases, proposed laws have like, the religious law, become deadlocked between the state, which sees the law as a vehicle to define the limits on a particular aspect of society and reinforce the state's sovereignty over it, and the constituent groups who seek a law which can protect the freedoms granted them under the constitution.11 In other cases, laws to limit the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the constitution have actually been enacted.12 In other words, the twin processes we have observed in the case of the Protestant institutions of the state attempting to reimpose control through legislation over a social area in which an increasingly assertive group has sought to claim for itself a zone of autonomy from that control, seem to have been a more general trend in Chinese society in the 1980s. What does this suggest concerning the aims and achievements of the Chinese state under Deng? If, as Vivienne Shue has argued, the reform program was an attempt to strengthen the effective reach of the state by 9 See Cheek's discussion of the continuing allure of the "mandarin" role for contemporary Chinese intellectuals, in "From Priests to Professionals." 1 0 See Ronald C. Keith, "Chinese Politics and the New Theory of the 'Rule of Law'," C£> 125 (Mar 1991), pp. 109-118. 1 1 The media law is the best example; on whether it should be "a law to protect media freedom" or a law to supervise the work of the media, see "Baozheng xinwen gongzuo ziyou (Guarantee the Freedom of Media Work)," in Mingbao 3/4/88. For the earlier stages of the debate, see Merle Goldman, "The Zigs and Zags in the Treatment of Intellectuals," CO.104 (Dec 1985), p. 714. 1 2 Thus, the freedom to demonstrate has been defined and limited by a law passed in October, 1989; see "Zhonggong banbu shiweifa (CCP Promulgates Demonstration Law)," Xingdao Daily 1/11/89. 99 rationalizing and legalizing that reach, has this been the outcome? In the case of Protestantism, it would seem that the strategy of bringing Protestant activities under the leadership of the state through the TSPM/CCC has encountered two problems. Firstly, many Protestant believers have not been willing to accept the leadership of those organizations, regarding their claimed monopoly over Protestant life as being a political assertion without religious validity. Secondly, those organizations themselves have, by definition, interests and agendas of their own, which they have by no means been passive in pursuing. This latter fact suggests that more attention should be paid to the role of coopted institutions in the People's Republic of China. As James Seymour has pointed out in his work on the "democratic parties," the People's Republic of China is a "corporate state," in which the state has sponsored non-competitive, hierarchical organizations with a representational monopoly for certain interest groups; these bodies submit to state control over their selection of leaders and articulation of demands, and legitimize CCP leadership by expressing support for party policies.13 The Protestant organizations are thus similar to other nominally autonomous institutions in China. Their leaders, deputy leaders and secretaries-general, nominally elected by the organizations themselves, are in fact selected by the United 1 3 Seymour, Satellite Parties, pp. 88-89. For comparative discussions of cooption in Leninist and in capitalist states respectively, see Kenneth Jowitt, "Inclusion and Mobilization in European Leninist Regimes," World Politics 28:1 (1975), pp. 69-96; Michael Saward, "Cooption and Power: Who Gets What From Formal Incorporation," Political Studies 38 (1990), pp. 588-602. 100 Front Work Department of the CCP Central Committee.14 Several of these religious leaders hold positions in the NPC and CPPCC, and there are religious delegates to people's congresses and political consultative conferences at every level.15 As with other coopted bodies, the organizations disseminate not only religious policy but also other important national policies.16 In all these ways, they serve the interests of the state; however, that does not mean that they are simply "collaborators," or that they do not also pursue their own group interests. This model of the "corporate state" united around common tasks and interests defined by an unchallengeable central authority implies that the cooption mode of relating to society has been part and parcel of the "integrated or monistic character of the social order" in post-Mao China.17 In the case of Protestantism, however, the coopted institutions and their leaders faced a tension between the demands of the state on them and the expectations of their constituency, Protestant believers (with whom they had to be credible if they were to fulfil the state's expectations of them). As a result, they had moved by the end of the decade towards resisting the demands 1 4 At least this remained the case as of 1984; see John P. Burns, ed., The Chinese Communist  Party's Nomenklatura System: A Documentary Study of Party Control of Leadership Selection, 1979- 1984 (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1989), xxxi, 39. 1 5 In 1990, two religious leaders (Buddhist leader Zhao Puchu, and Ding Guangxun) were CPPCC vice-chairmen, and Ding also served on the NPC Standing Committee. There were nearly 9000 religious delegates to people's congresses and political consultative conferences at the county level and above by 1988. Xinhua in English, 1/8/1990 (FE 0833), in CSPT 5:3 (1990), p. 40. 1 6 E.g. after Tiananmen each religious organization made statements (some noticeably less whole-hearted than others) in support of the party's actions. See "Official Religious Groups Support Party, But No Three-Self Statement," CNCR 1396 (7/7/89); "TSPM/CCC Fall Into Line Behind Party," CNCR 1398 (14/7/89). 1 7 The phrase is from Schram, "Economics in Command," p. 461. 101 of the state in order to retain their credibility with their constituents. Perhaps studies of other coopted groups would reveal a similar dynamic in other cases contributing to the reemergence of "civil society" in post-Mao China. Such studies might also show that the efforts by the state in the late 1980s to limit certain social freedoms through legislation was in broad terms an attempt to replace the cooption mode of governance with a more effective, institutionalized mode of control. 4. THE STATE AND RELIGION IN HISTORICAL DIMENSION In the first chapter of this thesis the question was posed whether the growth of religion in post-Mao China means that the prerogative of the state to set the parameters for the religious life of the nation is no longer assumed by political leaders in China, or that religious believers will no longer accept that assumption. From the Protestant case, the answer as of 1990 seemed to be no to the first question and a qualified yes to the second. The state had not relinquished its presumed right to set the terms and conditions for "religious freedom," but some Protestant leaders had begun to express their opposition to the state's intervention in the religious sphere. While mostly this opposition was, publicly at least, couched in terms of the state's own interests, it was nevertheless a significant development.18 Moreover, there are the potential seeds of further change in some of the forces at work in the Protestant situation. The TSPM/CCC is still moving towards greater 1 8 Of course, there are probably variations of degree among the TSPM/CCC leadership, especially given that that leadership at some level contains the "atheist church leaders" Ding referred to, planted into it by the state to enforce state control. 102 institutional strength, in terms of numbers, inter-regional integration, and the scope and importance of its links abroad.19 The growing importance of a new generation of church workers with no personal experience either of the missionary era or of the suffering of pastors during the political campaigns of the Maoist decades will continue to be a catalyst for change.20 What are in effect new Protestant sects continue to grow under conditions of repression in rural China, and Christianity is generating more interest than ever among the educated urban population 2 1 Nor are the older generation immune to change themselves; in a 1988 sermon that gives an important insight into his motivations, Ding Guangxun told his listeners (significantly, a group of young seminary students) that he had been guilty of some "leftist" actions in the past, and said that his "expression of repentance" was to exert all his efforts to combat "leftism" in every form in the present.22 They are also not 1 9 For example, in 1991 the China Christian Council joined the World Council of Churches, after forty years with no Chinese representation on the body; see Lawrence Adams, "China's Official Church Rejoins World Council of Churches," NNI12/3/91, pp. 3-5. 2 0 Some TSPM leaders apparently fear that the next generation will abandon the Three-Self policy: "we have a personal understanding of the colonial nature of the Chinese church, but as far as they are concerned, that is just past history," wrote one worried pastor in 1990; Qin Shenglan, "Three-Self Education for Theological Students," TF No. 5 (1990), in CSPT 5:3 (1990), pp. 60-62. 2 1 For example see Britt Towery, "Interview With Bishop K.H. Ting of China," Tournal of Church  and State 32:3 (1990), pp. 719-724; Ron MacMillan, "Spiritual Hunger Drawing China's Intellectuals to Christianity," NNI 17/1/90; "Jie zongjiao tianpu jingshen kongxu - 'liusi' hou zai dalu de pupian xianxiang (Filling Up Spiritual Emptiness Through Religion - A Common Phenomenon in China Since 'June 4')," Mingbao 10/12/90. For interest in Christianity among Chinese students and intellectuals active in the democracy movement abroad, see Ron MacMillan, 'Pro-Democracy Movement Leader Converts to Christianity," NNI 9/10/90, pp. 3-4; Dong Zhenhai, "Minyun de beiju shi meiyou Shangdi (The Tragedy of the Democratic Movement Was That It Had No God)," Zhongguo zhi chun No. 10 (1990), pp. 26-27; "Yi Jidu jingshen xuanyang minzhu - Zhongguo minyun Jidutu lianyihui (Spreading Democracy in the Spirit of Christ - The Christian Union for the Chinese Democracy Movement)," Zhongguo zhi chun No. 8 (1990), p. 86. 2 2 Ding Guangxun, "Ai daodi de ai (The Love that Loves to the Uttermost)," Jinling shenxue zhi 9 (Nov 1988), pp. 60-62. 103 cut off from changes in the attitude to the government of the Chinese population as a whole, as the defection of Zhao Fusan in Paris after the June 4 massacre reminds us.23 Lastly, as mentioned in relation to the spring of 1989 in Chapter Three, inherent in Christian belief are transcendent values which can, potentially, fuel opposition to a state perceived to be in violation of those values. These seeds of change touch on the larger issue of the prospects for the development of a politically and intellectually pluralist society in China. Ultimately, the justification for the Chinese Communist Party's claim to ultimate political and intellectual authority rests on the teleological vision of Marxism/Leninism/Mao Zedong Thought. However, the CCP under Deng has removed much of the immediacy of that teleology, and, as Nathan pointed out in the passage quoted in Chapter One of this thesis, few people even in the control hierarchy believe in CCP ideology any more.24 Although, as we have seen, the state remains theoretically committed to retaining the right to set the parameters for all aspects of society, many in China are seeking to establish zones of autonomy for particular activities, while others are quietly going their own way in disregard of the state. Although in the Protestant case this has not led to any overt political opposition, the demand for autonomy for the church is in itself a significant modification of the way the state's role is perceived in China, and it contains within it the seeds of further moves towards a "secular" political order and a pluralist society. See "Top Chinese Christian Intellectual Defects in France," CNCR 1388 (30/6/89). Nathan, China's Crisis, p. 122, quoted on p. 7 above. NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS REFERRED TO Areopagus Asia Focus Baixing (Hong Kong) Banyue tan (Fortnightly Chats) BBC Summary of World Broadcasts: Far East Beijing Review Bridge China and Ourselves China and the Church Today China Daily China News and Church Report China Notes China Prayer Letter China Study Project Tournal China Talk China Update Chinese Around The World Chinese Theological Review Ching Feng Dagong bao (Ta Kung Pao, Hong Kong) Dazhong Daily (Dazhong ribao)  Far Eastern Economic Review  Fayin (Voice of the Dharma) Federal Bureau of Investigative Services: Daily Report - China Fujian Daily (Fujian ribao) Guangdong nianjian (Guangdong Yearbook) Guangming Daily (Guangming ribao) Hongqi (Red Flag) Hubei fazhi bao (Hubei Legal News) Jiaocai (Study Materials - TSPM/CCC Theological Training Course) Jinling shenxue zhi (Nanjing Theological Review) Liaowang (o/s) (Outlook Weekly - Overseas Edition) Lilun xinxi bao (Theoretical News) Mingbao (Hong Kong) Nanfeng chuang (Southerly Window) Neibu cankao (Internal Reference) Neican xuanbian (Selections from Internal Reference') News Network International People's Daily (Renmin ribao)  Qiao (Bridge - Chinese edition) Religion in the People's Republic of China: Documentation Renmin zhengxie bao (CPPCC News) Shehui kexue (Social Science) Shidai Luntan (Christian Times - Hong Kong) Shijie zongjiao yanjiu (Research on World Religions) Shiyue (October) Social Sciences in China South China Morning Post Tian feng (Heavenly Wind) Tianjin Daily (Tianjin ribao) Tripod Wenhui bao (Wenhui Daily - Hong Kong) Wenyibao (Literature and Art Gazette) Wenzhai bao (News Selections) Xinbao (Hong Kong Economic Tournal) Xingdao Daily (Xingdao ribao - Hong Kong) Xinhua (Xinhua News Agency bulletins) Xinjiang Daily (Xinjiang ribao) Zhengming (Hong Kong) Zhongguo funii (Chinese Women) Zhongguo qingnian (Chinese Youth) Zhongguo qingnian bao (China Youth Daily) Zhongguo shehui kexue (Chinese Social Science) Zhongguo Tianzhujiao (The Catholic Church in China) Zhongguo yu jiaohui Zhongguo zhi chun (China Spring) Zongjiao (Religion) 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY (BOOKS AND ACADEMIC ARTICLES) Adeney, David H. 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