Research Associate at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Students at Harvard University
Xi Lian is the author of “Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China.” In the course of the twentieth century, Protestant Christianity in China underwent a historic transformation—from a beleaguered alien faith presided over by Western missionaries into a vibrant, indigenous religion of the masses. This new religion initially took the form of sectarian groups and independent preachers arising outside the missionary establishment. Christians endured decades of repression by the Communist state after 1949, but Christianity has since blossomed into an underground church movement with tens of millions of followers. As both a religious and a social movement, it has emerged amidst the upheavals of modern China, with a current membership that rivals that of the Chinese Communist Party. Dr. Lian has studied this phenomenon extensively and talks about it in this presentation.
Recorded: April 10, 2012