"Today it is an open secret that Christian fellowships - a new kind of 'house church', run by Chinese professors and students, are active in most Chinese universities," according to Edmond Tang, from the University of Birmingham, editor of the new-look China Study Journal to be launched next Monday, Independent Catholic News reports.
"More than 30 academic faculties and research centres are devoted to the study of a once maligned religion. The question is why."
According to Tang "it is not enough today just to document what is happening on the ground".
"It is equally important, if not more so, to know what people are thinking religiously, and how that relates to the moral and spiritual questions that are debated by the educated Chinese," Tang says. "This is where the real heartbeat of a new China can be found."
Anglican Bishop David Urquhart, who will help launch the journal, said: "It can be very hard to find and source accurate information about life and the Church in China. This journal provides an invaluable and authoritative link and will be of immense value to a wide cross-section of people."
The China Study Journal is an initiative of the China Desk, an office of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland in cooperation with the Department of Theology, University of Birmingham.
The publication has its roots in a research project begun in the 1970s at the height of the Cultural Revolution, a period when China was cut off from the outside world, when churches and other religious organizations in China were forbidden, and when religious persecution was rife.
China is experiencing a 'Christian explosion' says academic (Independent Catholic News, 22/3/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
No rest for Zen, Pope decides (CathNews, 22/3/07)
Bibles for Beijing Olympics (CathNews, 12/3/07)
23 Mar 2007