Lidt om religion, samfund og økonomi

Diverse — Drokles on February 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

En gang imellem tager jeg mig selv i at læse i en bog (man kan kun surfe efter internetporno så mange timer om dagen). I går begyndte jeg at læse bogen God is back, der som titlen antyder handler om, hvorledes religion er på fremmarch i den stadigt mere moderniserede verden. Den slags akademisk gejl kan man hurtigt få nok af. Afsnittet Onward Chinese Soldiers fra indledningen er dog ganske interessant da vi får et indblik i en del af kinas omvæltninger.

The Chinese still regard the militantly atheist Mao Zedong as a national hero. Mao put religion second only to capitalism in his list of reactionary evils: he killed clergy, expelled foreign missionaries and destroyed temples and churches. Now China is rethinking.

The economic liberalization that followed Mao’s death brought the “Great Leap Forward” that Marxist orthodoxy had singularly failed to deliver. But it also brought a disorientating whirlwind of change. The pell- mell pace of economic progress— the Chinese economy has doubled in size every eight years since the 1970s— is supersizing cities and decanting millions of people from the countryside. China is building skyscrapers and highways, suburban subdivisions and gated communities, shopping centers and theme parks, on a scale unprecedented in human history. The construction industry employs a workforce the size of California’s population. And the advance of the new civilization inevitably means taking a wrecking ball to the old.

This whirlwind is boosting demand for the consolations of religion. Wang’s house church is part of what may well be the biggest advance of Christianity ever. The Chinese government’s own ? gures show the num- ber of Christians rising from fourteen million in 1997 to twenty- one mil- lion in 2006, with an estimated ? fty- ? ve thousand of? cial Protestant churches and forty- six hundred Catholic churches.3 (The government made religious freedom part of the constitution in 1982, though it limited worship to ?ve of?cial religions— Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism— each overseen by a “patriotic association.”4) But these ? gures exclude both house churches and the underground Catholic Church, which is bigger than the of? cial one. A conservative guess is that there are at least sixty- ? ve million Protestants in China and twelve million Catholics— more believers than there are members of the Communist Party. Some local Christians think the ?ock is well over one hundred million.5

Whatever the true numbers, the world’s major religions are currently engaged in a “scramble for China.” According to a survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project in 2006, 31 percent of Chinese people regard religion as very or somewhat important in their lives, while only 11 percent toe the Maoist line that religion is not at all important. A poll in 2005, asking a slightly different question, put the proportion of people who deem religion important at 56 percent.6

That said, for most Chinese people religion is still a vague affair, mixing folklore with ancestor worship. Only about a ? fth of Chinese name a particular religion as their creed, and most of them plump for some form of Buddhism, Taoism on Confucianism, plainly the varieties the state prefers.7 Xinhua, the distinctly secular state news agency, recently proudly announced that there were approximately one hundred million Chinese Buddhists. The Olympics began at exactly 8 p.m. on the eighth day of the eighth month in 2008— because many Chinese people regard the number eight as lucky. It is no longer frowned on to wear prayer beads in the cities. In the countryside Buddhist temples are fast becoming part of the local economy. Every summer some two hundred thousand people visit the Black Dragon Temple in Yulin, a city in Guangxi Province, for its ten- day fair; local state of? cials and policemen are cut into the deal through taxes and gifts.8 Despite the clashes with Buddhist monks in Tibet, the government tolerates an ornate, private Tibetan shrine in the heart of Beijing, and a few members of China’s new commercial and political elite have followed the imperial tradition of seeking out confessor- gurus in Tibetan monasteries.9

Meanwhile, Islam is also surging, especially among the Hui and Uighur peoples in Ningxia and Xinjiang Provinces. Of? cial numbers indicate that there are about twenty million Muslims. Again, that is probably an underestimate, but the Pew researchers point out that even using that number, China has almost as many Muslims as Saudi Arabia and nearly twice as many as the European Union’s twenty- seven countries. By 2050, China could well be the world’s biggest Muslim nation as well as its biggest Christian one.

The growth of Christianity is nevertheless the most startling religious development. Catholicism is vigorous in parts of Beijing and especially in poor rural areas. The Virgin Mary has a particular attraction: ?shermen have started dedicating their boats to her, and every May thousands of Catholics descend on Donglu, a village in Hebei Province where the Virgin is said to have appeared in 1900 to rescue local Catholics during the Boxer Rebellion. A decade ago, the authorities imprisoned an underground Catholic bishop who led the festivities there— but he was quietly released in 2007. Nowadays police cordon off the village each May.10

Yet the core of Christianity in China is urban and Protestant. Evangelical churches took off at the same time as China itself did in the 1990s, drawing heavily on American and South Korean Protestantism. China has been a ? xation for American missionaries since the nineteenth century. Nowadays the South Koreans, Asia’s most enthusiastic Christians (who were mostly converted by the Americans), are even more numerous. One ruse is to set up trading companies in China that are really missionary outposts. Close to the North Korean border, there is even a full- scale Protestant university, which has now wangled permission to operate in Pyongyang too.11

Still, most Chinese churches are homegrown. They come in all shapes and sizes. The Fengcheng Fellowship (of house churches), which is based in Henan Province and headed by Zhang Rongliang, China’s most prominent Protestant, claims to have ten million members.12 But most house churches are like Wang’s out? t: autonomous and reasonably small. Chinese Christians are inveterate downloaders. Many pastors ?nd their stiffest competition not in the sermons of their local rivals around the corner, but in the weekly Web offerings from Asian megapreachers, such as Stephen Tong, who is based in Indonesia. Another notable characteristic, shared by both the South Koreans next door and the early Christians, is the importance of women as evangelizers: one Protestant jokes that the most popular silent prayer in house churches is for a husband, and the second most popular one is for a better husband.

House churches offer a remarkable formula for growth. They can be started by anybody: one prominent house church in Beijing was established by a foreign ministry of? cial. Wang started his church in September 2006 with ?ve or six friends. Now it has sprouted two offshoots: one is a special-ist church for migrants; the other, which brings together a group similar to Wang’s, uses the local of? ce of a well- known American multinational as its base (a popular strategy, since of? ces are closed on Sundays). Now that the three churches attract about a hundred people, the worshippers will soon have to start another one. The Chinese government has set an informal limit of twenty- ? ve people for an unauthorized religious gathering. Nowadays, most local authorities enforce this rule sporadically (there were twenty- eight people at Wang’s Sunday service, not including the children) or not at all (in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, the congregation can run into the hundreds, reports one of Wang’s ? ock). The danger for most house churches is not a police raid, but the possibility that a neighbor will complain about the noisy singing or, more likely still in China’s overcrowded cities, about parking spaces being taken up. Yet as Wang’s fast- growing ? ock illustrates, the twenty- ? ve- person rule is a formula for growth, uncommonly close to that enforced on early Christians by similar demands for secrecy. It is the same cell model pioneered by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and by South Korean Protestants. It is almost as if the government secretly wants us to take over, muses Wang.

In fact, the Chinese government seems to have mixed feelings about religion. Hardliners still associate religious faith, particularly Christianity, with insurrection. The famous Taiping Rebellion (of Great Peace) in the nineteenth century was led by a Christian who claimed to be Christ’s brother— and only put down at the cost of more than twenty million lives. The authorities think that John Paul II had an outsized role in bringing down the Soviet Union. Many of the student leaders at the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 have become Christians. Zhang Rongliang, the head of the Fengcheng Fellowship, has been in and out of jail since the 1970s. China’s relentless persecution of the Falun Gong cult shows how nervous it is about independent thought and organization.

Such worries are exacerbated by the fact that the growing religious organizations are becoming political actors in their own right. House churches have begun to add pastors, schools, libraries, even a few unof?cial seminaries. One enthusiast boasts that house churches “are already the largest NGO in the country.” Many churches teach the sanctity of life, a lively issue in a country where abortions have been routine. In Donglu, the Catholic nuns run a small clinic.13 At the Black Dragon Temple, there is a thriving boarding school. In Xinjiang Province, the mosques control so much that the state government is worried about Muslim separatism; a scatter of terrorist incidents before the 2008 Olympics provided an excuse for a clampdown, but the problem remains. Even ancestor worship is having an unsettling effect on politics in the countryside, making it more likely that the village leader will be elected to that role because of his position in the clan hierarchy, rather than his loyalty to the party.

Yet on the other hand the regime increasingly accepts that some kind of moral code is useful to build a “harmonious society.” Indeed, some of China’s younger technocrats now openly welcome Confucianism, which Mao condemned as “feudal,” as a form of social glue in their fast- changing country. The state has sponsored several Buddhist gatherings and is building Confucian institutes around the world. In October 2007 the Communist Party added an amendment to its constitution, with the personal imprimatur of President Hu, urging its members to “rally religious believers in making contributions to economic and social development.” At the local level, especially in the countryside, Buddhism and communism have fused: temple chiefs are often party bosses as well. The Chinese authorities are edging toward the conclusion that God and modernization can go hand in hand.

That case has been made most explicitly by a Chinese government economist, Zhao Xiao, in a widely read essay, “Market Economies with Churches and Market Economies Without Churches.” Based on his travels around America, the paper, published in 2002, argues that the key to America’s commercial success is not its natural resources, its ?nancial system or its technology but its churches, “the very core that binds Americans together.” The market economy, argues Zhao, is ef? cient because it discourages idleness, but it can also encourage people to lie and injure others. It thus needs a moral underpinning. At the end of the essay, as he travels from Boston to Indiana, “through North America’s vast lands, the serene sounds of church bells ringing in every church,” Zhao recalls an angry poem:

Be in awe of the invincible might,

Be in awe of the lightning,

And be in awe of the thunder in the sky.

Without that awe, argues Zhao, China will not succeed. “Only through awe can we be saved. Only through faith can the market economy have a soul.”

The people in Wang’s church share Zhao’s belief that worshipping God is the go- ahead thing to do. Asked why people become Christians, one man describes it as the sense of having joined the winner’s circle. Every city has some form of club or network for Christian businesspeople. As he sips a cup of water after the service, Wang puts it simply. “In Europe the church is old. Here it is modern. Religion is a sign of higher ideals and progress. Spiritual wealth and material wealth go together. That is why we will win.”

Typisk kinesisk tankegang at gøre etikken op i nytteværdi.

5 Kommentarer »

  1. “The people in Wang’s church share Zhao’s belief that worshipping God is the go- ahead thing to do. Asked why people become Christians, one man describes it as the sense of having joined the winner’s circle. Every city has some form of club or network for Christian businesspeople.”

    Når græske købmænd og håndværkere konverterede til kristendom i det andet århundrede, var deres grund til at gøre det såmen nogenlunde nøjagtig den samme.

    I romerriget iøvrigt konverterede mænd ofte, fordi deres kvindelige bekendtskaber ellers ikke ville være sammen med dem. Kristendommen var i aller højeste grad en kvindereligion i de tidlige år, men da mændene var konverteret i stor stil, mistede kvinden sin rolle i kirken og blev forvist til hjemmet.

    Comment by Mackety — February 16, 2011 @ 9:25 pm
  2. [...] more likely still in China’s overcrowded cities, about parking spaces being taken up. … china house churches – Google Blog Search Lion of Judah Movie- Sponsor: Lionofjudahthemovie.com- Lion of Judah the Movie- Check out “The [...]

  3. [...] Christians (who were mostly converted by the Americans), are even more numerous. … missionaries americas – Google Blog Search Lion of Judah Movie- Sponsor: Lionofjudahthemovie.com- Lion of Judah the Movie- Check out “The [...]

  4. My acquaintance was telling me about the house church that he attends in a moderately sized city in China. Religious gatherings that are not approved by the local government are illegal in China.

    Comment by Jesus Coffey — February 22, 2011 @ 4:25 am
  5. France’s aviation accident investigation bureau will examine the device immediately, the interior minister said. coach outlet online There aren’t many teams in America blocking as well as the players on UW’s offense. Yet the Rose Bowl should be UW’s toughest date of the 2010 season. p tory burch
    Birmingham’s Region Tradition announced today the slate of celebrities to compete in this year’s pro-am golf tournament at Shoal Creek on Wed., May 13. ralph lauren outlet online In his book, SMALL BUSINESS, BIG LIFE: Five Steps To Creating A Great Life With Your Own Small Business, (Published by Grupo Nelson, ISBN-13: 978-0-88113-222-9) Barajas shares his proven tools for starting, building, and running a productive business while keeping the rest of one?? life flourishing.
    By: Compiled by Zaki Taleb tory burch ?It is the improvement that they cannot see that makes the difference,? Dushane said. ?We often hear women are happy to be able to report that they can finally cook dinner for their family and that they have more energy. Making everyday life better is what it is all about. Cancer doesn?t define them; they are much stronger than that. We?re helping them gain their confidence back.? n ralph lauren
    Our staff will review the information that you provide and determine what options are available. tory burch outlet * traditionalSignIn_password *
    t Trae Bryant (Hoggard) michael kors outlet online Championship matches - 106 pounds: Anthony Senthavisouk, WHI, pinned Mike Correa-Volkman, PIUS, 3:19. 113: Kai Castaneda, TEW, dec. over Thomas Welch, GD, 8-7. 120: Zach Miller, TEW, pinned Joe Porter, PEW, 2:45. 126: Ben Reagan, TEW, tech. fall over McCoy Swanson, SM, 17-1. 132: Quinn Burzynski, PIUS, dec. over AJ Minucci, TEW, 14-7. 138: Max Nelson, TEW, dec. over Trevor Greene, PEW, 3-1. 145: Marcus Morrow, TEW, dec. over Sam Walton, GD, 11-8. 152: Stuart Swanson, SM, dec. over Garrett Shibilski, PEW, 12-8. 160: Ben Zbikowski, SM, dec. over Jake Paget, PEW, 5-3. 170: Zach Barnhart, WHI, won in double overtime over Josh Wilkowski, SM, 2-1. 182: Tom Mitchell, SM, maj. dec. over Elliott Rogahn, TEW, 9-1. 195: Alex Rodriguez, NBWE, dec. over Brian Chapman, SM, 8-4. 220: Jake Roseland, PEW, dec. over Greg Lewis, TEW, 10-7. 285: Tom Wawrzyniak, SM, dec. over Alex Morton, GF, 2-0. louis vuitton outlet online
    Muschamp’s goal is to identify eight players who can contribute at Mike and Will “because you need as many pass rushers as you can find,” he said. He identified four players following the first week of spring drills. tory burch Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel: http://www.louisvuittonhandbags.us.org
    The company said it had already trimmed more than 2,500 circuit miles across the state, to help rpotect its infrastructure. michael kors outlet online On Saturday, Cermele detailed Manney’s past experience of finding weapons on homeless people. That information, Cermele said, had been gathered by internal affairs but not included in its final summary of disciplinary charges. p tory burch outlet
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour2 cups old fashioned oats1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon salt2 cups unsalted butter, chilled, cut up1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar1 cup creamy peanut butter4 teaspoons vanilla extract2 eggs3 cups honey-roasted peanuts2 (10-ounce) packages peanut butter chips2 (8-ounce) packages toffee bits or 12 (1.4-ounce) bars milk chocolate toffee, such as Heath bars, chopped louis vuitton outlet To sum it up, we were wrong about everything last week and there is a decent chance we will be wrong again. Don?? get caught up in your work tournament contest and just enjoy the madness! Have a great week!
    Attention all 13 of you who knew that former congressman Ernie Konnyu was considering a U.S. Senate run in 2016! He’s out. louis vuitton outlet (BPT) - Do you have friends or family members who seem to never age? No matter how old they get, their appearance is youthful and glowing. While genes play a role in how the body ages, they are not the only factor in aging gracefully. In fact, erasing years from your appearance is actually simpler than most people think.
    03/23/2015 06:18 PM MDT - Boulder’s Friends’ School submitted a video back in February that on Friday was honored with a scheduled screening at the White House Student Film Festival. http://www.ralphlaurenoutlet.eu.com However, if you haven’t filed your taxes this year yet, an estimate will do until then. “That may be estimated information on what they will file with the IRS, or once the actual information if filed with the IRS, it can be directly retrieved from the Internal Revenue Service and loaded into the FAFSA form,” said Harrison.
    Since I was 8, I have dreamed of working in fashion. The jobs vary — designer, stylist. But I began focusing on becoming a fashion journalist. tory burch outlet But there were also pluses to their new home, in addition to the easy commute to work.
    z The first official Slide the City event of the year took place on Feb. 14 in West Palm Beach, Fla., where city officials estimated the crowd at between 18,000 and 25,000 people, Larsen said. Coronado Street in the heart of downtown was closed off, and at first not all affected businesses were thrilled with the idea. polo ralph lauren The annual Taste of Dana is 6-9 p.m. Friday with samples from 24 restaurants for $15 or $20 at the door. Proceeds from the event fund Dana Hills High School?? alcohol- and drug-free graduation night. The evening includes auctions, raffles and music. Information:
    *EMAIL tory burch outlet ?There just wasn?t enough work,? she said. f ralph lauren outlet online
    Arkansas is considering a grand education experiment in House Bill 1733 to privatize your public schools. Take it from us in New Orleans and Chicago: The experiment won’t work. coach outlet online Copyright Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
    d ZmVyaW5nIGEgJiM4MjIwO0dhbWUtVXNlZCBHeW0gQ2VpbGluZyBSb3BlJiM4MjIxOyB0aGF0IGh1 louis vuitton outlet online Eric: It doesn’t feel like anything is missing, which is good not like when you walk into a person’s home that’s kind of uninspired. m
    “We are going to sign him back,” reporters on Monday at the NFL’s annual meeting in Phoenix. “We put him through waivers. He’s been injured, so he was getting into the third year of his contract where he was not going to have a split, so we needed to waive him, get him through and then do another contract in case he gets hurt again. … He’s had a number of injures, so we had to protect the club.” toms outlet online ??asablanca????An angel is sent to show Rick Blaine what his life would have been like if he hadn?? shot Major Strasser and had allowed Capt. Renault to arrest Victor Laszlo before he climbed aboard that airplane on the fog-shrouded tarmac. What Rick would see is that not only would he have been able to re-open his nightclub, but he would have Ilsa, the love of his life, by his side and he still could enjoy the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Renault. In fact, the friendship would have been much more pleasant if the two didn?? have to hide from the Nazis. coach outlet
    At Everton?? Goodison Park, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku gave his Premier League club a slender advantage against Dynamo Kiev, his late penalty securing a 2-1 win. michael kors outlet Sharkey and the CTU?? promotion of Garc?a has been so shameless that Socialist Worker has been forced to posture as critical of Garc?a’s campaign, while simultaneously suggesting that he could still be ??ushed??to the left once in office. s louis vuitton handbags
    concert and Joyce Yang doing Grieg’s Piano ralph lauren outlet online To recap, last week, someone wanted to know the source of an oniony, garlicky scent he?? been sniffing outside his home for years. Lady Orange thought there might be someone out there in Readerville who knew about this and could call, email or carrier pigeon an answer to her.
    bGwgc2hvd2VkIGluIE9oaW8gU3RhdGUmIzgyMTc7cyBvcGVuZXIgdGhhdCBoZSBtYXkgYmUgdGhl ??a href=http://www.coachoutletonline.name/>coach outlet online Israel s right-wing campaign of incitement, fortified with actual policies on the ground, did nothing to open the eyes of Western governments to the reality of racism practised by Israel. The campaign also failed to weaken the impunity and exceptionalism Israel has enjoyed over decades despite its constant human-rights violations, theft of land, colonisation and apartheid. Responsibility for the Palestinian/Israeli impasse lies with Netanyahu, with a succession of rightist Israeli governments, and even with certain the so-called left-wing elements.? The problem also lies with an international community led by a United States that opts to listen only when its interests and those of its allies are at stake. When its interests are secured, it turns a deaf ear. a polo ralph lauren
    Kim Il Sung came to prominence in 1937, at the age of 25, when he led a guerrilla raid against a small town controlled by the Japanese. It was ?? strategically insignificant pinprick,??according to Mr. Harden, and while Kim?? reputation benefited when the Japanese put him on a list of most-wanted Red bandits, he was ??n unannounced nobody??when he returned to the Soviet-controlled part of the Korean Peninsula after World War II. He rose to power by selling himself toStalin?as a loyal puppet?? fawning ??oodle,??according to Mr. Harden. Stalin considered Kim ?? man of no consequence,??and Mao also held him in contempt, viewing him as aggressive, doctrinaire and rash. michael kors outlet online Don?? be shocked when you take your milk out of the refrigerator and find that it?? separated. Just give it a good shake to mix it up again. Homemade nut milk doesn?? have added thickeners, emulsifiers, or stabilizers to keep the mixture homogeneous.

    Comment by gjdwynoq — March 31, 2015 @ 4:18 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Kommentér indlægget...

Monokultur kører på WordPress