Special Issue "New Developments in Christianity in China"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Francis Khek Gee Lim

Associate Professor, Sociology programme, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Ave, Singapore 639798
Website | E-Mail
Interests: religion, tourism, development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Christianity’s rapid expansion in China in recent years has attracted much attention from scholars, the general public, Chinese policymakers, local and international media, foreign Christian groups and governments. This is partly because the practice of Christianity in China has profound implications that very often spill out of the “religious” domain. Debates, contestations and negotiations have proceeded on issues such as the divide between “official” and “unofficial” churches; the affinity between Christianity and Chinese culture; whether China is becoming Christianized (and over the exact number of Christians); the influence of foreign Christian groups; and the role of Christianity in international politics. Further, the close ties between some Christian groups in China and those based overseas (such as American and South Korean Christian organizations actively cultivating ties in China), and the Chinese Catholics’ complicated relationship with the Vatican, have contributed to the party-state’s intense suspicion over foreign interference in the country’s religious and political affairs.

Meanwhile, many Christian groups throughout the country are harnessing the tremendous power of new media such as the internet and mobile apps to share religious messages, participate in rituals, access information, create online communities, and to evangelize. As communications infrastructure continues to improve across China and with the country’s deepening linkages with the rest of the world, Chinese Christian networks are spreading both within and outside the country. These networks link and criss-cross at multiple scales and localities in China as well as deepen interactions with overseas Chinese Christians and global Christianity. Chinese Christians have also begun exerting their influence outside China through activities such proselytism, charity work, and development projects. We invite scholars to submit paper proposals that examine the above and other issues. Topics may include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Chinese Christian missions overseas
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Diaspora Chinese Christianity and its interaction with China
  • International and cross-straits relations
  • Internet and social media
  • Work and workplace
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Development and ecology
  • Social justice
  • Popular culture
  • Cultural identity

Prof. Dr. Francis Khek Gee Lim
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Christianity
  • ethnicity
  • international relations
  • diaspora
  • gender
  • media
  • work
  • mission
  • popular culture
  • development
  • health
  • wellbeing

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle “Serving the Lord”: Christianity, Work, and Social Engagement in China
Religions 2019, 10(3), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030196
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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This study examines how Chinese evangelical Protestant employees view work and the workplace, through the lens of their religion, and how they seek to influence the broader society, in a highly restrictive religious domain in China. Using the concept of everyday religion, I [...] Read more.
This study examines how Chinese evangelical Protestant employees view work and the workplace, through the lens of their religion, and how they seek to influence the broader society, in a highly restrictive religious domain in China. Using the concept of everyday religion, I examined how these employees seek to integrate faith into their work and the workplace, and the issues and challenges they face in the process. While existing China-focused studies have mainly looked at the experience of the business elite and Christian bosses, I inquired into the experience of the employees, specifically the professional class. It was found that they did not see a clear boundary between the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’ in the workplace. At the same time, they discursively constructed a distinction between their own Christian work ethos and that of their non-Christian colleagues. This discursive self-othering was double-edged. While it enabled the Christian employees to construct a distinctive workplace and social identity, it risked resulting in them being perceived negatively by non-Christian colleagues, as belonging to a “different kind” (linglei), thus, accentuating the social gulf and tension that might have already existed between the Christian and the non-Christian employees. Most regard the workplace as an important arena for the concrete expressions of their Christian faith and values in everyday life. In doing so, they seek a moral transformation of the workplace, as a way to transform the wider society. I argue that their effort to influence their colleagues and transform the workplace culture is an important kind of unobtrusive social engagement, without open mobilization in civil society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments in Christianity in China)
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