—Tom Banchoff, director of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs

All this week, NPR has been airing Louisa Lim’s reports from Beijing that highlight various aspects of religious growth and change in China, including stories about burgeoning support for Buddhism, women’s mosques and female imams, divided Catholics, and the rebirth of folk religion. “God is rising here…” says one Chinese Christian woman quoted. This series “New Believers: A Religious Revolution in China” helps illustrate how that’s happening.

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I'm so glad that the Chinese government is loosening it's grip on it's people's freedom of expression.

I am glad to hear of this, but the Communist government must have some hand in the affairs of the religious communities. I do see and celebrate this as a form of freedom, but as we have seen the only forms of religion allowed in China are those that are sanctioned by the Communist government. I don't really think that this is freedom in the whole sense and cynically I wonder how much the government is taking credit for these "changes" in public gender roles within religion, namely Islam.