Mapping Religions Webinar Series 2 — Mapping Religions in China

Center on Religion and the Global East (CRGE)
Mapping Religions in China Webinar Series
Thursday April 13th, 8pm EDT (Friday April 14th 8am HKT)

Joey Marshall — Mapping the Establishment of Protestant and Catholic Churches in China, ca. 1949–2004

In recent interviews, case studies, and other information sources, we have observed that churches in China are often established near provincial borders. This paper tests whether our qualitative observations are localized examples or if it is part of a general pattern. It uses quantitative spatial analysis tools to examine data from the 2004 China Economic Census and to construct a geographically referenced national dataset of officially registered Protestant and Catholic sites in China. The author will speak about how he applies GIS technology to map Christian sites in China, and how we estimate multilevel statistical models to empirically test various theories about the distribution of religious sites across geographic space. Results suggest that church growth in China was highest near provincial borders.

Yunping Tong — Religious Geography and County-Level Sex Ratios in China

This study explores the linkage between religious geography and county-level child sex ratios using the 2000 China Population Census and the 2004 China Economic Census, the most complete and recent data available on religious presence in China. Applying spatial analyses of 2,685 counties (over 90% of all counties), we find that counties with a greater presence of Daoist temples have more imbalanced (male-biased) sex ratios among children, whereas a greater presence of Buddhist temples and Islamic mosques is associated with less imbalanced sex ratios.

Brian McPhail — Local Religious Environments and the Physical Health of Older Adults in China

This study examines whether local religious environments affect the individual health of older adults in China. Using merged data from the Online Spiritual Atlas of China (OSAC) and the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), I conducted multilevel analyses to determine whether the prefecture-level presence of religion—measured by the number of religious sites—has contextual effects on individual health outcomes. The results indicate that all the major religions in China have a significant ecological effect on the self-rated health and number of chronic illnesses reported by older adults, even after accounting for individual religious identities.