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.
A few years ago, China made a pronouncement that it was easing some religious restrictions, but only for as an aid for social morality and ethics. They’d still like to avoid the superstition (their words).
By way of anecdotal evidence, when I was in Beijing a few years ago, I attended a state church which was filled to the brim and was fortunate enough to see a street preach in mid-conversion for a passer-by. Both very beautiful sights.
I think this is overstated, however. In a country of 1billion+ people, the number of Christians can easily outpace American Christians without ever making China a Christian nation.
A recently discovered site may shed new light on historical research into the Nestorian Church, which is believed to be the earliest Christian movement to spread the Gospel in China.
A niche in a stone wall with a cross carved above it has now been verified by experts as a repository for the ashes and bones of Christians. The experts also confirmed that this is the earliest Nestorian burial place discovered so far in China.
A few years ago China was attempting to face it’s public immorality during a time when a child was left to be run over in the streets while onlookers when about their daily routine. Now, China is attempting to use religion, devoid of “superstition” (so, you know, no charismatics), to their own ends:
While religion could be a force for good in officially atheist China, it was important to ensure people were not mislead, he told the Study Times, a newspaper published by the Central Party School which trains rising officials.
First… as a Christian, I do not believe I am allowed to undercut for profit – yet, Romney actively ships jobs to China to make use of what is essentially next-to-slave labor. The video calls it slave labor, but slave labor would exclude the possibility of coming and going when you please.
What’s really interesting is that Romney supports the idea of “you didn’t build that (by yourself)” when states that 95% of our way of life existed before we were born. In other words… I didn’t build that (by myself).
What really saddens me, however, is the view of the Chinese workforce.
Mr Lin’s Christianity is perhaps more awkward for China’s atheist communist rulers. While Beijing officially sanctions some churches, it frowns on the spontaneous professions of love for God that pepper Mr Lin’s postgame comments.
Evidence of how state censors would like to downplay his religion came in a CCTV news report when he was named a National Basketball Association player of the week on Monday.
“I love the fact that he gave praise to his team and to God,” said one New Yorker interviewed in English.
But the Chinese subtitles translated his comments simply as “I love him for praising his team”, scrubbing out the religious reference.
However, not all Chinese officials are shying away from Mr Lin. Cai Qi, a high-ranking Communist official in Zhejiang province, congratulated Mr Lin on his microblog on Sunday, and claimed him as Chinese. Mr Lin’s maternal grandmother, it seems, was from Pinghu, a small coastal town in Zhejiang.
Or at least Beijing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean like all of China or anything, but for the most part, their city life is a mimetic desire to compete with America. There are tons of new, often American, cars. McDonalds. KFC. The buildings look American. Clothing too. The songs are American. No Communism here. Only the desire to be American. not European. Just American.
The “abnormal” spread of Christianity across China is a threat to the Communist Party rule and social stability, a paper prepared by a top party academic warns.
Ma Hucheng, an adviser on religion to the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party, warns that the government’s attempt to control Church growth through the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) — the state sanctioned Protestant church — is failing.
“If we are unable to hold the line here, this will damage our independent foreign policy and cause the government to lose control of religion in accordance with the law, and make Christianity once again a political and spiritual tool of control for the West, and make Christianity [in China] a pawn of the Western church,” Ma said, according to a translation of his paper, An Analysis of the Reasons for Rapid Growth of the Protestant Church in Today’s China, prepared by OMF International’s Director of China Research, Tony Lambert. (originally published in the Church of England’s newspaper, but you can read it here now.)
Wonder if it will turn into another Diocletian event?