Unofficial Religions in China: Beyond the Party's Rules

2255 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Monday, May 23, 2005 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Transcript (PDF) (Text)

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China held another in its series of staff-led Issues Roundtables, entitled "Unofficial Religion in China: Beyond the Party's Rules" on Monday, May 23, 2005, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM in Room 2255 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

After the "reform and opening up" period began in 1979, the Chinese Communist Party changed its previous policy toward religion from complete repression of religious belief and practice to a rigid system that permitted believers a narrow range of Party-controlled religious practices. The growing number of believers and their flourishing new creeds, however, frequently have not fit within the government and Party approved structure. This roundtable examined these believers and the beliefs that have grown rapidly outside the official system, and also assessed the government's efforts to control them.


Dr. Patricia M. Thornton, Associate Professor of Political Science, Trinity College (Connecticut)

Dr. David Ownby, Director, Center of East Asian Studies, University of Montreal

Dr. Robert P. Weller, Professor of Anthropology and Research Associate, Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University