Asian Ethnology 80-2 | article Becoming Christian to Remain Chinese Language Socialization and Identity Formation at the Chinese Christian Church of Berlin

Jingyang Yu

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Migration migrant church Chinese diaspora Chinese Christians language socialization

With a case study of the Chinese Christian Church of Berlin, the biggest Chinese Christian congregation in Germany, this article deconstructs the calibration of a migrant religious community by analyzing the strategies of its leaders and the incentives of its members. Based on ethnographic data from extensive fieldwork, it documents how a Christian church transformed its structure and profile over the years to become an additional venue for Chinese language learning and Chinese identity formation. The article points out that migrant religious institutions do not necessarily have to function as sites of integration; they may also serve as an important space of socialization for migrant families, passing on the heritage language and culture from one generation to the next.