Religion in China: Background information when reading City of Tranquil Light

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City of Tranquil Light

A Novel

by Bo Caldwell

City of Tranquil Light
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 304 pages
    Oct 2011, 304 pages

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Beyond the Book:
Religion in China

Religion in China is a hard topic to pin down. The country has been officially atheist since 1949 - a policy that was rigorously enforced through the early years of the People's Republic of China but was relaxed in the 1970s.

Since 1978 the Constitution of the People's Republic of China has guaranteed "freedom of religion" and the Chinese government recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism (or Daoism), Islam, Catholicism and Protestanism. Religions that are accepted by the Chinese are treated with a fair degree of tolerance; however, new religious movements are, on the whole, considered cults and are banned and harshly repressed. This is likely in large part due to the history of religious cults threatening political stability. A notable example of which was the Taiping Rebellion of 1845-1864, led by Christian convert Hong Xiuquan. Hong, who believed himself to be the Son of God, established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Nanjing and proceeded to try to instill his brand of ...

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