Mapping Accessibility and Shortage of the Protestant Church in China: Applying Two Spatial Research Methods
- Church accessibility, Church shortage, Spatial study of religion, Religious market, China studies, multi-methods
The issues of church accessibility and church shortage are critical for understanding religious market and religious economy in China. Assisted by GIS, this article uses and compares two spatial research methods, the Two Step Floating Catchment Area (2SFCA) and the Network Analysis Method (NAM), to examine the church accessibility and church shortage in the thirty-one provincial capital cities of China. Despite the two different methods, this article sets up a common criterion in determining the geographic area of church shortage, or rather determining the number of Protestants who cannot reach the nearest churches from their residential locations within 30 minutes through driving or public transportation. The research findings discovered by both methods have identified nine provincial capital cities in the three regions of China as the areas of church shortage and low church accessibility.