Faith-based charities emerge in China
There is a new trend in China towards the launch of faith-based charity groups.
May 4, 2011
Religious charities are anchored into Chinese history. Confucian lineages were providing funds for public work and education. For a long time, Buddhist lay associations had been helping the poor and organizing disaster relief. Popular religion was structured as a network of solidarity. After the introduction of Christianity in China, the new religion made itself known through hospitals, orphanages and schools. For sure, it all went to a stop after 1949, when new regulations on religion were put step by step into effect. But the religious revival happening in China from the 80s on could not go without a new focus on charitable and social work. Buddhists have been looking at the success of the “Buddhism-in-this-world” approach in Taiwan – an approach first theorized in the Mainland during the Republican era. Christians, Protestant and Catholics alike, have been remembering the dynamism of Church-affiliated social services in the past, and have been inspired by examples from abroad. Taoism and popular religion are inseparable from the self-structuring of civil society on the basis of mutual support and local initiative.
- Benoit Vermander
Religions and Charities in China (Erenlai)
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