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by
Rick Moran

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April 20, 2014 - 4:38 pm

China? The boom in Christian conversions has tracked the booming economy as people seek meaning in their lives that neither Communism or capitalism can provide.

The Telegraph:

Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.

Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao’s death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.

Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world’s number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.

“By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.

“It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”

China’s Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.

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.”

Interesting to see how the growing embrace of Christianity changes China. Would the government crack down if Christians begin to demonstrate a little too much independence? I think it a certainty. A totalitarian regime only tolerates religion if it is channeled to support it. The Greek Orthodox church and the Soviet Union, or the Catholic Church and Franco — both instances of the state using the church to keep the faithful in line.

The Communist government may eventually find Christians more troublesome than other dissenters and look to limit the growth of the Church even more. But Christianity has proven itself incredibly resilient in China and any move to stifle its growth may have the opposite effect and lead to an increase in converts.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Chinese Patriotic Christian Association?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The growth of China's followers of Christ is more because of persecution rather than in spite of it. China is a spiritual pressure-cooker, ensuring only the most dedicated believers act on their faith, and culling out others who prefer an easier life. Yes, there is the Three-Self Church, the sanctioned state body, but it is rather small compared to the different home-church networks--who also dwarf international denominations.

So... what? Why does the church grow? Because the testimony of those dedicated believers who will cling to Christ are followed by miracles ripped from the pages of Acts and witnessed by multitudes.

The kind of faith the Chinese church shows, and requires, is alien to our increasingly pagan west, where the cost of Christianity is still a mildly unfashionable label. And, nothing will change in the west until real, lethal persecution arrives, as prophesied.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder if an increase in religious faith will help China with its impending demographic disaster. Apparently the people who are predicting China to become the next dominant world economy aren't looking at their low birth rates, disproportionate male-to-female ratio, and the catastrophic impact it will have on their country in about 30 years. They are heading for disaster because there simply won't be enough people to keep the communal basket full of goodies.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a big difference between having the most Christians and being the 'most Christian'. Just like there is a difference between being the biggest economy and being the most powerful economy. Just like there is a difference between having the most health insurance registrations and having the best medical care. Just like ... journalists just are not very bright.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
John Derbyshire, who has considerable exposure to Chinese culture, has written persuasively that the population of Christians will plateau out at around 10% of the total population. This figure is comparable to that of other Chinese areas such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is the PRC totalitarian at this time? As with Stalin in the USSR, the Chinese cadre under Mao had not a moment of not living in fear. That was totalitarian and I don't think many wish to relive it. China is not what we call (or used to) a free country but no one is carrying the Little Red Book.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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