Week 6 Progress Report: Michael Ogburn

In the past weeks, the ideas and concepts that have stuck with me the most are the ideas of religio-genesis and marginality. It seems obvious, by now, that persecution of religion or any sort of religious practice, no matter where, provides a catalyst for the religion’s followers to grow even more fervent in their practice and faith. Not only this, but also the religion also grows in size and influence. This is precisely what we have discussed in the past weeks, especially pertaining to Falun Gong. As the Party expends more and more effort to suppress Falun Gong and other various religions and cults, the religions and cults grow exponentially in size and support because of the Party’s so-called allowed freedom of religion. This then pushes these religions and cults underground, to the margins of society, and in some senses, removed from society. The reason, it seems then, that these religions are growing so quickly in China despite the oppression is that the people are seeking answer elsewhere as they do not trust the Party’s every word. This is why the people are trying to find these answers in the margins of the Party’s society, because they may be trying to find a way out of the Party’s society and into a religious community, where promises of freedom of religion and human rights actually mean something.

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