In the footsteps of others

In the footsteps of others: Protestant networks in Southern Fujian and Southeast Asia

Chris White


During the past three decades, the native place and lineage ties linking Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia with coastal China have been revitalized. One of the most conspicuous outcomes related to the reintegration of Overseas Chinese with their ancestral homelands is the religious revival found in rural Fujian. Not only have traditional Chinese religious rituals and practices experienced a recovery due in part to the reestablishment of transnational networks, but Chinese Protestant communities are also developing and utilizing lineage and ancestral ties with Overseas Chinese Christians. For example, construction of new churches in rural areas and theological training of clergy in both registered and unregistered Protestant churches are two areas that are often linked to support from Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. This research will analyze both the historic and contemporary transnational character of Chinese Christian communities in Southern Fujian with those in Southeast Asia.