Changing church and state relations in contemporary China: The case of mindong diocese, Fujian province

Shun-hing Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines church-state relations in Mindong diocese, Fujian province, from the perspective of state-society relations. The article seeks to identify the salient patterns of church-state relations in Mindong diocese, and the social factors that contribute to the formation of such patterns. I elaborate on the essential characteristics of the Mindong model in the paper. I argue that the three key factors affecting church-state relations in Mindong diocese are the competition between the open and underground churches, the mediating role of the Vatican, and the pragmatism of local government officials. I describe the Mindong model as a negotiated resistance, meaning that the underground church resists the control of the government and seeks organizational autonomy through continued negotiation with officials of the government. In conclusion, I discuss the implications of this church-state model in advancing religious freedom in Chinese society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)982-999
Number of pages18
JournalChina Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

User-Defined Keywords

  • Catholic church
  • church–state relations
  • Mindong
  • negotiated resistance
  • religious freedom
  • China


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