When not only Christians, but the secular press also begins to look at China as fast becoming a Christian nation, we have reasons to rejoice. A recent article in Britain’s Daily Telegraph highlights this development, saying, “Less than four decades (after Mao’s death), some believe China is now poised to become not just the world’s number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation. Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule, says, “It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
Professor Yang believes that by 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted. “Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this,” Prof Yang said. “It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”
Congregations are booming and more Chinese are thought to attend Sunday services each week than do Christians across the whole of Europe. A recent study found that online searches for the words “Christian Congregation” and “Jesus” far outnumbered those for “The Communist Party” and “Xi Jinping”, China’s president. Among China’s Protestants are, of course, many millions who worship at illegal underground “house churches”, which hold unsupervised services in an attempt to evade the prying eyes of the Communist Party. Such churches are mostly behind China’s embryonic missionary movement – now it is starting to send its own missionaries abroad, notably into North Korea… The spread of Christianity has the Communist Party scratching its head.
Some officials argue that religious groups can provide social services the government cannot, while simultaneously helping reverse a growing moral crisis in a land where cash, not Communism, has now become king. Yet others within China’s leadership worry about how the religious landscape might shape its political future, and its possible impact on the Communist Party’s grip on power, despite the clause in the country’s 1982 constitution that guarantees citizens the right to engage in “normal religious activities”.
The Communist Party was “still not sure if Christianity would become an opposition political force” and feared it could be used by “Western forces to overthrow the Communist political system”, said a house church leader. “There are people in the government who are trying to control the church. I think they are making the last attempt to do
that,” he added.
Source: The Daily Telegraph
BIBLE STUDY: Exodus 15:13-18
Day 1 – PRAISE: God that He is building His Church in a nation that will soon exert great world influence.
Day 2 – PRAY: That Christians may be taught the Scriptures faithfully, and become a major influence in the nation and in the world beyond.