The Red, Black, and Gray Markets of Religion

Fenggang Yang

in Religion in China

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735655
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918591 | DOI:
The Red, Black, and Gray Markets of Religion

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Chapter Five articulates the “triple-market model” of religion in China: there is a red market of religion that comprises legal religious organizations, believers, and activities, a black market of religion that is illegal, and a gray market of religion and spiritualities with ambiguous legal status. The gray market of religion includes illegal practices of legally sanctioned religious individuals and organizations; religious practices that are carried out in the name of culture, science, politics, etc. Three propositions suggest that under heavy regulation, black and gray markets are inevitable, and “the more restrictive and suppressive the regulation, the larger the gray market of religion necessarily becomes.” Empirical evidence is provided to support these propositions.

Keywords: evil cults; Qigong; Falun Gong; mixin (superstition); Mao personality cult; folk religion; popular religion; Christian house church; Christian three-self patriotic association

Chapter.  9373 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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