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25 août 2006

Hakka Protestants in Tahiti

medium_nz_japon.jpgA few months ago, I made my article on Hakka Protestants in French Polynesia, published in 2004 in Perspectives Chinoises, accessible on the web in its French version. This article was also published in English (China Perspectives n°57, 2005).
Those who already know the history of Chinese migrations know that Hakka outside China form a very strong Diaspora. In French Polynesia, migrations began in 1865 and were organized by the French Colonial Administration to fit the needs of workers expressed by a big plantation established in Tahiti.

Here is the abstract of this article:
While Pentecostalism exists today in French Polynesia, as in all the South Pacific States, it has followed an unusual path there, taking roots initially (during the 1960s) within the Hakka Chinese immigrant community. Long perceived by the historic Protestant Church as “Chinese-style Protestantism”, it initially gave birth to several Hakka Churches, each of which combined cultural identity, integration into Polynesian society and adherence to Christianity in different ways. However, after a series of secessions, a significant number of Hakka converts and their children are to be found in a transcultural Church, the Assemblies of God of French Polynesia. The intersecting histories of Pentecostalism and of the Hakka community in French Polynesia thus bear witness, in an exemplary fashion, to the gradual construction of a plural society (both multicultural and multi-confessional), which is in tension with the adherence of (almost) all the population to Christianity, as well as with individual cultural identities.

To read this article, click on "Hakka History" in the left column (À lire PDF).
[Nb.This PDF file has been recorded backward, so the last page of the document is in fact the first page of the article].

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