Divine Healing and the Growth of Practical Christianity in China

Gotthard Oblau

in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393408
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894390 | DOI:
Divine Healing and the Growth of Practical Christianity in China

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As many as 80 to 90 percent of Protestants in China converted to Christianity because of a healing experience. Divine healing is not restricted to Pentecostals and Charismatics, but permeates mainline, urban, educated churches, including in the China Christian Council (CCC). After 1949 Communists forced foreign missionaries out and disbanded indigenous denominations. Laity democratically pray for church members, family, and coworkers, while offering comforting attention. Christianity grows because it seems more effective than other religions in meeting practical needs. Non-Christians not helped by Western or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) seek prayers. Unlike “Prosperity” teachings, poor and marginalized Chinese Christians are less concerned with personal gain or using health to “prove” faith than offering holistic healing. Although Daoist and Christian folk religious elements may interact, charges of “syncretism” reflect urban, intellectual disdain. Pentecostal healing is socially empowering for individuals and communities and may help communication with promoters of liberation theology, Daoism, Confucianism, and Marxism.

Keywords: China Christian Council; missionaries; democratically; traditional Chinese medicine TCM; Prosperity; syncretism; liberation theology; Daoism; Confucianism; Marxism

Chapter.  9230 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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