Past eventResearch Event

China: The Return of Religion after Mao

17 January 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Chatham House, London


Ian Johnson, Author
Chair: Kerry Brown, Associate Fellow, Chatham House



The Communist Party of China has long had an uneasy relationship with religion. Its antipathy reached a crescendo during the 'Cultural Revolution' when public worship and ceremony were banned, members of the clergy imprisoned and religious buildings and texts were destroyed. But in recent years religion has returned to the centre of Chinese life, as people search for meaning in a rapidly changing political and social landscape. 

The speaker will discuss how the government under Xi Jinping has tried to co-opt this movement, supporting some religions, while confining others, and will probe what it is that motivates millions of Chinese to seek religious support.