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Religions 2018, 9(5), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9050138

Human Dignity as a Right and Virtue in Practice: A Socio-Theological Reflection from and on the Cross Removal Incidents in China

Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract

This paper is written to reflect human dignity in practice with reference to the cross removal incidents in China in Zhejiang Province between 2014 and 2016. This paper starts with three questions: How did the Chinese authorities treat Christians? How did Christians respond to what the Chinese authorities did to them? How did Christians view themselves, taking into account the treatment of the Chinese authorities? In contrast with the indignity of the Chinese authorities, Christians in their resistance have displayed a dignified manner characterized by non-violence and forgiveness, as well as the spirituality of persistence in truth and living in hope. The interaction between the government and the churches in these incidents has revealed both the hope and constraints of human dignity in practice, that is, the rule of law and freedom of expression, dignity and the face culture in China, and dignity as “respect-as-observance.” Christians in their resistance may have little impact on the improvement of human rights conditions in China, but as the Dao De Jing says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Thus, Christian resistance is one of the many steps to protect and respect human dignity. View Full-Text
Keywords: human rights in China; cross removal in China; theology of the cross and Chinese Christianity; freedom of religion in China; freedom of expression in China human rights in China; cross removal in China; theology of the cross and Chinese Christianity; freedom of religion in China; freedom of expression in China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kung, L.Y. Human Dignity as a Right and Virtue in Practice: A Socio-Theological Reflection from and on the Cross Removal Incidents in China. Religions 2018, 9, 138.

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