While the internet has given new life to the aspirations of new religious movements around the world, it has been a different story for the new religious movements coming from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Under brutal suppression, but still possessing the same universal aspirations as their cohorts, new religious movements in the PRC have a wildly different relationship with the internet than those outside the PRC. To better understand this relationship, this article examines the evolution of The Church of Almighty God, a Protestant heterodox movement that has been made a fierce target by the Communist Party of China (CPC). Through an analysis of the online content from the church as well as its adversaries, both domestically and internationally, the internet within the PRC has proven to only obstruct growth. But once the church gained access to the open web, despite the additional challenges, it quickly evolved and rose to the challenge of using this virtual marketplace in the years since.
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Research Article| May 01 2022
Virtually Limited: Chinese New Religious Movements, the Great Firewall and the Case of The Church of Almighty God
Nova Religio (2022) 25 (4): 32–63.
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Rachel Heggie; Virtually Limited: Chinese New Religious Movements, the Great Firewall and the Case of The Church of Almighty God. Nova Religio 1 May 2022; 25 (4): 32–63. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2022.25.4.32
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