Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China

Xi Lian

This book is the first to address the history and future of homegrown mass Chinese Christianity. Drawing on a large collection of fresh sources—including contemporaneous accounts, diaries, memoirs, archival material, and interviews—the author traces the transformation of Protestant Christianity in 20th century China from a small, beleaguered “missionary” church buffeted by anti-foreignism to an indigenous popular religion energized by nationalism and millenarianism. Lian shows that, with a current membership that rivals that of the Chinese Communist Party, and the ability to galvanize China’s millions into apocalyptic convulsion and messianic exuberance, the popular Christian movement channels the aspirations and the discontent of the masses and will play an important role in shaping the country’s future.