The Trials of Pastor Lin: “Mass” Denunciations in Early 1950s Shanghai

Religious Minorities in Communist Regime
By Isabelle Thireau, Hua Linshan

This article focuses on the analysis of a confrontation which opposed a Chinese Protestant minister, head of a primary school, to accusers and local officials in Shanghai from November 1951 to October 1952. The case file, stored in the municipal archives, is illustrative of the first steps towards a specific administration, the Letters and Visits’ administration, in charge of receiving, classifying and distributing the written and oral requests of the population (accusations, denunciations, appeals, demands for assistance, suggestions) to relevant authorities. After studying the unfolding course of events and analyzing the various forms of speech and exchange used in this case, the authors question the recent transformations applied to the direct address system, in order to underline the gap between the objectives that were initially assigned to it and the way it is effectively used today.


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