China will become the most Christian nation in the world

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By Chad Dou and Mark Ellis

Megachurch in China
Megachurch in China

Within 15 years, China should become the country with the most Christians in the world, according to a study.

Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University, predicts that China will reach 224 million Christians by the year 2030, as quoted in the UK Financial Times.

“By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Yang, an expert in sociology and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule, in the UK Telegraph. “It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”

The explosion of Christianity in China will upend the traditional Christian powerhouses of the world. In 2010, the U.S. had around 159 million Protestants, and many observers say congregations are in decline.

As part of a possible passing of the baton, China is now sending missionaries – especially to North Korea.

A6ADG3 Various Age Worshippers Celebrating Christmas Eve during Christmas Mass at Beijing Xishiku Catholic Church 2005-12-24
Celebrating Christmas Eve in Beijing

“The number of Christians is extremely underestimated (in China) intentionally because the increase of religion would reflect negatively on government officials.” said Yang.

Currently, there are about 100 million Christians in the world’s most populous nation, which eclipses the 86.7 million-strong membership of the ruling Communist party, according to the Financial Times.

Jin Hongxin, 40, is not interested in the political or missiological implications of Chinese growth. She’s just proud to attend the mega church Liushi in Wenzhou, the city many outside observers call China’s Jerusalem due to its flourishing Christian churches.

“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence,” she said at an Easter service, as reported by the Telegraph. “If everyone in China believed in Jesus then we would have no more need for police stations. There would be no more bad people and therefore no more crime.”

China’s churches started experiencing astronomical growth after the conclusion of the Cultural Revolution in 1976. A successor to Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping, reformed politics, liberalized the economy, and opened China to foreign countries.

Then in 1985, a clause was included in the new constitution that promised freedom of belief to Chinese. But the “neutrality” of the party did not cover public meetings.

In that light, a printing company was set up in Nanjing, financed by charity, and has become the largest Bible publisher in the whole, according the Financial Times.

However, evangelistic campaigns in public are not permitted, and churches are subject to supervision from

Fervent worship
Fervent worship

government agencies. There have also been a number of churches demolished and prominent crosses removed in many cities across China.

In 2014, a government campaign was launched that demolished Protestant churches in Whenzhou. Before the demolition, the water, electricity, transportation and even phone coverage were cut off in the entire area by government officials, according to Financial Times.

Yang thinks some in the Communist party overestimated the political threat from the church. Christianity has brought positive changes to China, he said. “Christianity has been overestimated as a way too severe threat,” Yang said.

Others see China like the United States in the 1980s when materialism and a booming market economy brought prosperity and contributed to a sense of angst as people drifted from God.

So far, Christianity has brought a sense of belonging and hope to China. In a published Chinese report based on a survey of religious affairs, 69 percent of the Christians started believing because they or a family member suffered illness, according China’s Academy of Social Science.

Christianity – once thought of as a byproduct of colonial invasion and the “opiate of the masses” – is now gradually accepted by not only the uneducated and destitute ones but also by those who are more prosperous. According to Financial Times, a survey shows that half of the most affluent people in China publicly believe in religion, and 18% are followers of Jesus Christ.

The expansion of Christianity in China is foreseeable and inevitable, Yang said. Even during the 10 years of the Cultural Revolution during which churches were forced underground, Christianity grew yearly by 15 percent, according to statistical estimates.

“But immense influence is sure to be made — to China, and the whole world — no matter people are prepared or not,” Yang said.

Chad Dou is a student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Our Lady the Queen of Peace has stated in Medjugorje that Russia is the place where God will be glorified the most. Yes, there may be many Christians in China perhaps the most in the world, but I am sure that what Our Blessed Mother has stated in regard to honouring and giving true worship, will come to pass. God bless China and every country, love is all that matters.

  2. Glory to God! Thank you Father God, You are Wonderful, Merciful, Faithful, Kind and a Loving Father. The whole earth will be filled with the glory, goodness, knowledge and revelation of the Lord as the water cover the sea. Chinese are wonderful people. Salvation, healing and deliverance with all the graces of God is for all men- great and small, rich and poor, Christ died for us all and open to us the gate to heaven. Oh! Praise God. This is the most wonderful and refreshing testimony. Thank you Jesus!!!!!

  3. When I was born again in 1970, I wrote an article “Pray for the New Birth of Mao Tse Tung, the then Chinese leader. I was stunned when much older Christians laughed at me, even one with a doctorate in Theology. They all claimed to have been born again believers, but to them there was no way that China could become Christian. They treated me like a Johnny-come-late in the Christian fold. No one sided with me. It was a terrible way of starting out in the Christian life. It is now 46 yrs later and see what is published about Christianity and Chine… and God is NOT finished.

  4. Amen. Every knee shall bow every tongue shall confess that jesus is lord of all to the glory of god almighty

  5. Have been a evangelical Christian since i was just turning 17, now in my 70`s still loving Jesus ! Seem to remember (motor accident left me with poor memory…..) some scriptual teaching that China or at least people from the East becoming important in the saving of Israel when threatened (as they are now by surrounding Nations) this is an `end time` picture of the `last days` when Jesus will make a physical return to `save` His nation. Now many signs suggest a soon return ! But `signs` have happened over the history of the Christian church but even now many Jewish people are beginning to wonder and Christian thinking is becoming of interest in Israel. Together with this news about China is yet another sign that our Saviour is close to return, but not this time as a baby, living as a servant, but as mighty King and final judge.

  6. Praise His Holy Name! China needs nothing more than true first century Christianity…as
    The USA now loosing that which made us the greatest nation. I was in the Oval Office when President Nixon said, “The Twenty First Century belongs to China'”. Pray for China and visit when you can.

  7. This is wonderful news. The Chinese people, more and more, are coming to Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. May the mercy drops change into showers of blessings.

  8. In 1979 my husband, my teenage son and I went to China with Noro Lam (Sung) Ministries. She was a Chinese lady evangelist that went into China, Hong Kong and the Philippines preaching God’s Word in stadiums like Billy Graham did. She would take several hundred people with her to help pray for the people to receive Jesus or for healings. I praise God that we were a part of bringing the gospel to the Chinese!

  9. God Bless China,however its rather sad when known Christian Nations are turning their back on God. They will only bring curse to their people.

  10. Glory be to God Almighty, this is one of the signs of the end times as it was said by our Lord Jesus that, His message, the Gospel would be preached in all the earth, that no nation will say we did not hear the news of His salvation.
    But why should the Americans and European people that have contributed a lot to the spread of this most wonderful message of all time ‘the message of His salvation to all mankind’ should be the people that will backslide at the very end of the great expectation of His second arrival (coming)? They (their great-grand parents) are the vehicle that transported the good news across Africa, Caribbean Islands and the rest of the world. but today they are the ones spreading the gospel of same-sex marriage, abortion and other antichrist lifestyles across the globe.

  11. Sadly, who’s not to say the Government won’t end this increase. I pray for the intersection of Mary, Queen of the Universe, and Jesus, our Savior, in China. China has the potential to go on to be one of the most powerful nations in the World. If the nation could turn away from the evils of Communism, and embrace God’s loving embrace, the World would be a much different place.

  12. I think God bless China because God has bless the Jews. During Nazi Persecution of Jews In Germany. Many Jews fled to China and China accepted them to settle down in China. History tells us there were Jews settled down in China since thousand of years. China had never persecute the Jews but had Bless them. Today there are many Jews living in China and they have form their own community. Genesis 12:3 says” I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

  13. amen . . Jesus is the light of all over the world. God always protect all the Christians in china. God bless your nation and glory to our God. We are always praying china will be filled by Christians.
    Praise the lord JESUS
    amen

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