The Catholic Church in China in the 1980s: Identity, Loyalty, and Obedience

Cindy Yik yi Chu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Religion in China is expected to stabilize and harmonize society. Beijing has not wanted to see Chinese Christians being outspoken in their faith and activities. This chapter addresses the conflicts between the Vatican and Beijing in the 1980s. After China opened to the world in 1979, the people could practice their religion in public as Beijing experimented with its policy toward religion. Yet while the decade began with optimism for greater cooperation between Rome and Beijing, it ended with the CCP’s open condemnation of the Vatican and the Pope. From Beijing’s perspective, the core problem that was aroused in the 1980s was who should control the Chinese Catholics, the Vatican or itself. This issue necessarily involved the identity, loyalty, and obedience of the Chinese Catholics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Catholic Church, The Bible, and Evangelization in China
EditorsCindy Yik-yi Chu
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811661822
ISBN (Print)9789811661815
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameChristianity in Modern China
ISSN (Print)2730-7875
ISSN (Electronic)2730-7883

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Religious studies
  • History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Aloysius Jin Luxian
  • Beijing
  • Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association
  • Dominic Deng Yiming
  • Ignatius Gong Pinmei
  • Sino–Vatican relations
  • The Vatican
  • United front


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