Persecution and Martyrdoms in China



Year of publication 2021
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Government edicts are unilaterally imposed by the decision-makers, the political elites, without considering those affected by them. The authoritarian government’s relationship as the holder of power and the actions and reactions of Catholics affected by the government’s pronouncements is a complex one. Even under an authoritarian regime, the Catholic Church in China may see itself as needing to develop a mutually supportive relationship with the state. Catholics in China can take one of the two main paths. They can struggle against the government and even mobilize direct opposition to it: as a hierarchical social group, it may have sufficient resources to organize its members to oppose this form of domination. Alternatively, they can seek to cooperate with the government to secure economic, cultural, and symbolic resources. The following chapter focuses on the development of the Catholic Church in China since the establishment of the PRC in 1949. It observes Chinese Catholics of all of the abovementioned groups: the CCPA, the local churches under the CCPA, and the underground Church. The chapter follows their political and cultural struggles under the communist leadership of the PRC. The presented data are based on study of the existing literature and fieldwork which was conducted in Zhejiang province in 2018 and 2019. Data were collected during two fieldwork studies: the first from March to June 2018 and the second in May and June 2019. Both pieces of fieldwork combined semi-structured interviews, narrative interviews, and participant observation. Twenty representatives of the open Catholic Church in China were interviewed.
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