Religion in China Today
Back to the Center of State and Society
A presentation featuring Beijing-based, Pulitzer Prize winner
Speaker: Ian Johnson
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist
For almost a century, Chinese leaders have pursued an agenda of top-down secularization, with most religions heavily persecuted or banned.
However, religion is now back at the center of Chinese society and politics, with the country awash with new temples, churches, and mosques—as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends.
And now, at the same time that it is demolishing churches and detaining Muslims in reeducation camps, the government is promoting Buddhism, Taoism, and folk religion.
What sense are outsiders to make of these seeming contradictory policies? How do Chinese leaders intend to manage the tension between an atheistic state and a constitution that guarantees freedom of religious belief? What do these policies this say about China’s participation in the larger global community?
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Ian Johnson has lived in China for more than 20 years, following the country’s search for values, faith, and new ways of organizing society.
The evening will include an opportunity to raise questions with our speaker.
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Selected Works by Ian Johnson (张彦)