Thursday, September 06, 2007

Urban Chinese Professionals Embrace Christianity

China's Urban Christians an Unknown Quantity For Beijing
HONG KONG—Christianity is gaining new converts in Chinese cities and towns, especially among the newly emerging and assertive professional class, and the trend is causing the ruling Communist Party some concern, experts say.

A prominent example of this phenomenon is rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has been detained, kept under surveillance and sentenced to a jail term after he represented the underdogs in sensitive political cases. Gao is also a committed Christian, whose Beijing-based church has been raided by police on more than one occasion.

Gao’s commitment to using the nascent Chinese legal system to fight unpopular civil rights cases—such as representing villagers who wish to indict local officials for graft, or representing members of the banned Falun Gong movement—are underpinned by his strong emphasis on morality and compassion, and bound up with the lawyer’s Christian identity.


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