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Research Centre for Christian Culture

Lanzhou lies in the southern part of Gansu province, which is the centre of China's territory. This is the conjunction where the Han and Tibetan peoples reside, usually referred to as the Han-Tibetan Passage which was once part of the Silk Road. From ancient religions introduced from the West such as Nestorianism, Manichaeism, and Parseeism to that at the modern times – Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Gansu is a place acculturated by all these religious influences throughout centuries and is indeed an epitome of religions and cultures of Northwest China.


Quite a number of academic institutions have devoted to studying Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhism and Islam in Northwest China over the years, but the study of Christianity as a specialty by an institution is still lacking in the region (apart from Shaanxi province). In light of the need to fill this gap, Culture Regeneration Research Society (CRRS) began collaborating with Ministry of Education affiliated state-key comprehensive university, Lanzhou University, to launch a plan in 2004. In March 2005, CRRS President Dr. Leung In-sing visited Lanzhou with the staff and board members of CRRS Canada and Hong Kong, and signed an agreement with the School of Philosophy and Sociology of Lanzhou University to support the establishment of The Research Centre for Christian Culture (RCCC). The inauguration ceremony was held on March 29, and RCCC was formally established since then.


CRRS endeavours to achieve the following objectives through our funding and support to RCCC :

  1. To supply Christianity related resources through academic means to scholars, increasing their understanding of the true meaning of Christianity, influence of Christianity in Chinese history, and integration of Christian faith with Chinese philosophies;
  2. To serve as a platform for Eastern and Western scholars to exchange views on issues of religions, cultures and philosophies, developing a generation of intellectuals who understand and acknowledge the academic aspects of Christianity, so that they may speak for Christianity within the academic field and make a unique contribution to the regeneration of Chinese culture;
  3. To provide Mainland Chinese Christian scholars with in-depth studies on Christianity and Christian culture, and prepare them for becoming future leaders.

Academic Committee

Prof. LO Ping CheungProfessor, Department of Religion & Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University
Prof. YEUNG Hing KauDirector of Chinese Culture Research Center, China Graduate School of Theology
Dr. LEUNG In SingPresident, Culture Regeneration Research Society
Prof. LEE Chuang TongAdjunct Professor, School of Philosophy & Sociology
Prof. CHEN Sheng BoAssociate Professor, School of Philosophy & Sociology


Academic Advisors

Prof. ZHUO Xin PingDirector, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Prof. GAO Shi NingResearcher, Institute of World Religions, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Prof. LI Xiang PingProfessor, Department of History, School of Humanities, Shanghai University
Prof. CHEN Jian MingProfessor, Institute of Religious Studies of Sichuan University
Prof. NG Tze MingProfessor and Director, Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education, HKIE


RCCC comprises of scholars mainly from the School of Philosophy & Sociology of Lanzhou University. The centre also collaborates with scholars specializing in Sociology, Islamic culture, as well as other disciplines in Lanzhou University such as History & Culture and Politics & Administration in order to employ an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Christian culture.


Prof. LEE Chuang TongAdjunct Professor, School of Philosophy & Sociology
Acting Director
Prof. CHEN Sheng BoAssociate Professor, School of Philosophy & Sociology
Mr. YANG Feng GangLecturer, Chinese Philosophy Research Institute
Mr. NIE Hong PingLecturer, Contemporary China Research Institute, School of History & Culture
Mr. YANG Hong WeiLecturer, Contemporary China Research Institute, School of History & Culture
Mr. LIU Ji HuaAssistant Lecturer, Contemporary China Research Institute, School of History & Culture
Mr. WEI MingLecturer, Institute of International Studies, School of Politics & Administration

Research Directions

  1. The study of the history of Christianity in Northwest China, particularly the spread of Christianity within the ethnic minority territories of Northwest China;
  2. The historical development of Christian studies under the academic investigation and international exchange of Eastern and Western cultures;
  3. The empirical research of Christian culture in Northwest China, primarily with the methods of field research to examine the present situation of the region;
  4. The comparison of Christian culture with other religious cultures in Northwest China, with the relationship between religion and ethnic groups as the main focus;
  5. The study of the impact of Christianity upon the Northwestern society from the perspective of sociology of religion.

Research Projects

RCCC invited quite a number of scholars and student researchers to carry out three different research projects in 2005-2008:

  1. The Research of Nestorianism in China: To observe the spread of Christianity from the evidence of archeological discovery and the existing historical antique.
  2. The History of the Spread of Christian Culture in Gannan.
  3. The Research of China’s Three-self Churches and the Harmonious Society.

RCCC conducted the following two research projects in 2008-2011:

  1. An Anthropological Study of Tibetan’s Conversion to Christianity in Gannan;
  2. The Historical Development and Present Situation of Christianity in the Muslim Regions of Northwest China.


Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, is situated at the geometric centre of the continental territory of China. The Yellow River flows straight through the region of the city. It is the only capital city with the Yellow River passing through the urban area. The landform of Lanzhou is a long valley stretching from the East to West, centered between two mountains. The Yellow River passes through the city from Jiuzhou in the north. The urban area is 1,520 metres above sea level.

Since Gansu has a low level of rainfall, agricultural production is scarce and staple food is not self-sufficient. But the plentiful sunlight has facilitated the high productivity of melons and fruits. The well-known Bailan melon is exported to many cities in the nation.



According to historical accounts, Lanzhou was once part of the Longxi Prefecture during the reign of Emperor Zhao of Qin Dynasty more than two thousand years ago. In the Western Han Dynasty, the Jincheng Prefecture was set up, which became an important strategic post in the Silk Road. In the reign of Emperor Wen of Sui Dynasty, the Commander Prefecture of Lanzhou was established. Later in the Qing Dynasty, it was changed into Lanzhou Fu. The city of Lanzhou was officially established in 1941. It is now one of the key developmental cities of the West. 年设立兰州市,今为西部重点开发的城市。



Major Religions in Gansu 1



Major Religion

No. of Followers

No. of Sites for Religious Activities


About 1.6 million



800 thousand

(450 thousand Tibetan Buddhists, 350 Han Buddhists)



About 210 thousand



60 thousand

(with congregation from 15 denominations such as Church of Christ in China, China Inland Mission, Christian and Missionary Alliance, The Assemblies of God, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Christian Assembly, Baptist Church, True Jesus Church)



About 30 thousand