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China is experiencing a Christian explosion among Intellectuals

Caroline Fielder - Director of China Desk 07958 049120

Notice to NEWS DESKS 20 March 2007

"China is experiencing a Christian explosion among intellectuals" says leading Chinese academic

The growth of Christianity among intellectuals has fundamentally "reshaped the religious landscape in China", says a leading Chinese academic and Editor of what's being described as the "most authoritative" journal on religion in the People's Republic of China.

Edmond Tang, from the University of Birmingham, is Editor of the new-look China Study Journal which will be launched by CTBI on Monday 26th March. "Today it is an open secret that Christian fellowships - a new kind of "house church", run by Chinese professors and students, are active in most Chinese universities. More than 30 academic faculties and research centres are devoted to the study of a once maligned religion. The question is, why?"

However, Edmond Tang adds: "It is not enough today just to document what is happening on the ground. It is equally important, if not more so, to know what people are thinking religiously, and how that relates to the moral and spiritual questions that are debated by the educated Chinese. This is where the real heartbeat of a new China can be found."

The publication will be launched at 1.15pm by Canon Janice Price, Executive Secretary of Global Mission Network, CTBI and Rt Rev David Urquhart, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Episcopal Link to China. Bishop Urquhart said: "It can be very hard to find and source accurate information about life and the Church in China. This journal provides an invaluable and authoritative link and will be of immense value to a wide cross-section of people."

The China Study Journal is an initiative of the China Desk, an office of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland in cooperation with the Department of Theology, University of Birmingham. The publication has its roots in a research project begun in the 1970s at the height of the Cultural Revolution, a period when China was cut off from the outside world, when churches and other religious organizations in China were forbidden, and when religious persecution was rife. To that end, now in its third decade, the journal provides unparalleled information about life and religious freedoms in the China.

The new style resource is divided into two sections, the first provides in depth analysis of current religious policy and includes empirical studies of grassroots rural and urban Christianity, developments in Sino-Christianity theology, and reports on other religions in contemporary Chinese society. The second section reproduces shorter, timely news articles, highlighting key issues of relevance.

The publication will be produced twice a year and will be available from April 2007. Annual subscription rates are £65(institution) and £45(individual). Information on subscriptions can be obtained from

Notes For Editors

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland helps the Churches to think, work and pray together. It is the direct successor to the old British Council of Churches and is the official ecumenical body which brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions. Its work includes racial justice, inter faith relations, international affairs, global mission, faith, unity and spirituality. CTBI works closely with the Churches Together bodies which focus on Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England. See

Canon Janice Price is Executive Secretary of Global Mission Network, CTBI.
Edmond Tang is Head of Research Unit for East Asian Christian Studies, Birmingham University and Editor of the China Study Journal.
Rt Rev David Urquhart is Bishop of Birmingham and the Archbishop of Canterbury's Episcopal Link to China.

The launch will take place at 1.15pm on Monday 26th March at CTBI offices which is located on 3rd Floor, Bastille Court, 2 Paris Garden, London, SE1 8ND. A light lunch will be provided and there will be opportunity to meet with Chinese guests and China Desk staff, in addition to named speakers. Press packs including a complementary copy of the China Study Journal will be available.

Photographs can be supplied on request.

For more information and interviews please contact Caroline Fielder, Director of China Desk on 0795 8049120 or


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