True Believers : Religion in Today's China

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  • China is on the rise economically, but the post-Mao era has also seen an increasing hunger for something beyond material prosperity. From the novice Daoist monk honing tai chi skills atop a sacred mountain to the uncountable worshippers of the underground house church movement, this program reports on modern China's emboldened-yet still cautious-religious population. In the city of Wenzhou, evangelical pastor Zheng Datong agrees to be interviewed, despite secret police looking on. Pastor Samuel Lamb, another lightening rod for security surveillance, insists that "oppression simply leads to more believers," while Pastor Joseph Gu, leader of a mainstream Three-Self Patriotic Movement church, describes the rapid growth of his congregation. For a much different yet equally spiritual perspective, the film turns to Daoist kung-fu master Zhong Yunlong at the Wudong Mountain monastery, where a sacred shrine still attracts pupils and travelers.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on January 16, 2012.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.
  • Portions with English subtitles,


  • True Believers: Religion in Today's China (1:16) -- Daoism (Taoism) (2:26) -- Cultural Revolution (2:16) -- Growth in Christianity (2:23) -- Sanctioned Churches and House Churches (2:02) -- Followed by Authorities (1:55) -- Meeting Underground Leader (2:52) -- Confronting Chinese Officials (2:48) -- Service at an Underground Church (2:01) -- Governmental Restrictions (1:32) -- Chinese Crackdown (2:24) -- Conflict Unlikely to End (1:28) -- Credits: True Believers: Religion in Today's China (0:36)
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