Edited by Fenggang Yang and Chris White

Although Christianity has been a minority religion in Chinese societies, Christians have been powerful catalysts of social activism in seeking to establish democracy and rule of law in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and diasporic communities. The chapters gathered in this collection reveal the vital influence of Christian individuals and groups on social, political, and legal activism in Chinese societies. Written from a range of disciplinary and geographical perspectives, the chapters develop a coherent narrative of Christian activism that illuminates its specific historical, theological, and cultural contexts. Analyzing campaigns for human rights, universal suffrage, and other political reforms, this volume uncovers the complex dynamics of Christian activism, highlighting its significant contributions to the democratization of Greater China.


The vastly outsized role of Christians in Chinese political and social activism has presented a persistent puzzle. This timely volume provides the most revealing and wide-ranging answer to date. Highly recommended.

— Xi Lian, David C. Steinmetz Distinguished Professor of World Christianity, Duke Divinity School


Fenggang Yang’s and Chris White’s groundbreaking and provocative volume examines the modes and motivations of politically engaged Christian activism in the orbit of China. Drawing from an array of scholarly and activist perspectives, the fifteen chapters explore the historical and contemporary roles of Christian leaders as revolutionary fighters and constitution writers, parliamentarians and presidents, supporters of self-determination and prisoners of conscience. This book gives vital insight into how and why Christians have put their faith into action in shaping national debates, and it illuminates the soul-searching involved when Christians exercise an influential and effective role in the political sphere.

— Chloe Starr, professor of Asian theology and Christianity, Yale Divinity School

Christian Social Activism and Rule of Law in Chinese Societies