The Archbishop of Canterbury is considering a landmark visit to China, after China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming extended the invitation during a meeting at Lambeth Palace in November. The Chinese Embassy in London announced on its website that the Archbishop had been invited, “to witness the harmonious coexistence of different religions and ethnic groups” in China. Lambeth Palace declined to comment, adding only that there had not yet been an official invitation.
Despite clear instances of crackdowns by the State on Christians, in the last five years there are said to have been almost 5,200 new churches built, or completely renovated, not only with the approval of the authorities but usually with state funding. Within that time there have been around 2.5 million baptisms in the officially sanctioned churches, with almost 3,000 new church elders trained and 4,300 seminarians graduating.
One UK Christian leader with close links to China described the relationship as part of a “dance” between the Chinese population, attempting to manage rather than halt the explosion of Christianity. “There is one foot on the gas and one on the brake,” he said. Since the late 1990s, as China’s economic transformation gathered pace, a renewal movement within the official churches was coupled with an explosion in house churches.
Estimates of the number of Christians in China today vary between 60-120 million, which suggests as many as one in 10 of the population are already believers. It has been predicted that by 2030 there could be a quarter of a billion Christians in China, making it the biggest Christian population in the world.
Source: The Telegraph; Revival Media
BIBLE STUDY: 1 John 1:1-7
PRAISE God for all that He is doing in China. PRAY for the Archbishop that, should he go, he will walk with great wisdom and be a blessing to the China.