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Christ in China

There are signs of a new religious fever in China. Ten years after Tiananmen, even some of the dissidents exiled in America are finding a new purpose in evangelical Christianity.

By Ian Buruma   June 1999

How do revolutions get started? Obviously, rebellions begin with serious discontents about oppression, corruption and so on. The protest movement which began at Tiananmen Square in Beijing ten years ago this June was not really a revolution, although it could have turned into one. Oppression and corruption were certainly two of its root causes. But there were other influences, of a more cultural nature, which inspired the protesters. One of them was a television movie made a year before, in 1988. It was titled Yellow River Elegy.

This six-part series emerged from an intellectual trend in China in the late…

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