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Readers Write: Christianity in China and learning about race relations from history

Letters to the Editor for Feb. 2, 2015 weekly magazine

Didi Tang/AP
A church member prays at Jiu'en Tang, a Christian church in Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

Christianity in China, explained
Thanks to the Monitor for the Jan. 12 cover story, “China’s church-state showdown.” The piece raises a number of issues of great importance, such as the gaps in Christian teachings in the official churches, the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to manufacture a “Chinese” theology, the growing ties between official and house churches, and so on. The quotes about love are precious and apply not just in China. Thanks for attention to a vastly underreported subject. Whether Xi Jinping can push back the tide of evangelical fervor – as some believe he has – remains to be seen.
 – Julian Baum
Richmond, Va.

“China’s church-state showdown” should have also included information about both the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions. The Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), whose rebels had a Christian-based philosophy, was a civil war that led to more than 20 million civilian deaths. The Boxer Rebellion (1898-1900), which was, in part, a response to Christian missionaries, ended in warfare, though it was much less bloody. The moves by the Communist government today may be driven by those old, deep-seated fears.
– Jay H. Russ
Silver Lake, Ohio

Future hope from past reflections
Regarding the Jan. 19 online article “#ReclaimMLK: how protesters pairing Martin Luther King, present issues” ( To say that 1968 was a watershed year in American history is an understatement. I was a sophomore in college when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. Two months later, Robert Kennedy was gunned down in Los Angeles. That summer, Chicago police were attacking protesters outside the Democratic National Convention.

Today, we are reminded of the ongoing struggle for civil rights, thanks to the blockbuster film “Selma.” The grainy, black-and-white images of the marchers many of us watched on NBC’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report” now jump off the screen in living color.
– Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach, Calif.

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