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Practicing Religion During the Pandemic

Changes in the Padua Chinese Evangelical Community Caused by COVID

Jacopo Scarin    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Every Sunday afternoon, many dozens of Chinese migrants from all walks of life gather in a small building located north of the train station in Padua, Italy, at the headquarter of the Chinese Christian Evangelical Church of Italy (Jidujiao yidali huaren jiaohui 基督教義大利華人教會, CCEC), to celebrate a two-hour long ritual, chanting, praising the Lord and listening to a lecture in Mandarin about the Holy Scripture. The focus of this article is the weekly celebration of the CCEC. In particular, I will discuss a few changes that I have observed in the liturgy and in the general organisation of the activities of the CCEC since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in 2020. The research questions attempt to study how the COVID pandemic has impacted on the Sunday activities of the Church. The results highlight changes in the organisation of the Sunday celebration and in the way religious practice is experienced by part of the audience. The data employed in this article, collected between the years 2019 and 2021, come from previous scholarship, from participant observation and from informal and semi-structured interviews with members of the church.

June 30, 2022
April 20, 2022
Feb. 25, 2022

Keywords: Religious practiceReligionGlobal pandemicChristianityChinese diaspora

Copyright: © 2022 Jacopo Scarin. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.