Why Many Chinese Are Becoming Christians
Indeed, Growth of Christianity in China has become astronomical, and Yes, Atheist China could have largest number of Christians in the world by 2030.
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that by 2030, it could have more churchgoers than America.
Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 2 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.
The Chinese Communist Party once tried to destroy religion, but it failed, and today, according to some estimates, there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members. Up to 100 million.
Consider some of the rules the Chinese government have set:
• Importing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
• Printing Bibles is forbidden, even if they are given away for free.
• Evangelizing or giving out tracts is forbidden.
• Government officials cannot be Christian.
• Police officers cannot be Christian.
• Soldiers cannot be Christian.
• Teachers cannot be Christian.
• Children cannot become Christian.
• Teenagers cannot become Christian.
In spite of these things, China has one of the largest population of Christians in the world today.
while it is true that Christianity is growing in China and that they will soon be the country in the world with the largest Christian population, they will still be a small percentage of all Chinese.
I believe there are at least 2 reasons for the growth of Chinese Christianity:
The early foundations of Chinese Christian leaders like Watchman Nee and Wa Ming Dao who laid a theological biblical foundation that was not based on mainstream western Christian structures and accretions (see “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola for some examples of those). They had a much more indigenous, Bible-based Christianity than in many other countries where missionaries brought Western “civilisation” and culture instead of or as part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And they had a deep, spiritual faith that kept them going until their deaths… they paid the price, considering it worthwhile.
Persecution cleansed the Chinese church of hypocrites. It also forced the early Chinese Christian leaders to rely on God alone when missionaries were thrown out of the country and not to depend on missionary support (unlike many other countries where missionaries brought the gospel and then remained active in the country). Christians who live as Christians in spite of persecution has always been the way for the Good News of Jesus Christ to spread, since the beginning (just read the book of Acts!).
To that you can add the general hunger of Chinese for spiritual things, growing up in an officially atheistic communist state, greater exposure etc.
Adam Scott’s Comment
I spent a season of my life in China as a Christian so hopefully that qualifies me to answer this.
People in China, especially young people, have been so boxed in by their government and culture that they are desperate and search for truth. These beautiful people desire to hear something more than the atheism they are taught their entire lives. To a Christian this means that their hearts are open to the Gospel
The Chinese people are open to discussion and are particularly interested in Western Culture in which they assume we’re all Christian. Kind of funny actually. This has allowed many missionaries to enter the country and begin ministering to the Chinese people (Read about Hudson Taylor, the first real successful missionary in China). From there the Chinese people have had real encounters with God and have seen miracles making it spread like wildfire. They see people with hope and love in their eyes, something almost no one has in this country, and desire the same for themselves.
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It is a risk, illegal, for them to be a Christian as you may know. If God doesn’t constantly protect them through miraculous works it would be extremely dangerous. This makes them completely reliant on God. It is not normal or an easy choice calling yourself a Christian in China as it is in America. It is a risk socially, economically, and physically. Is it worth the risk you may ask? Ask any of them and without a doubt they would tell you they have absolutely no regrets and have nothing but thanksgiving pour out of them.
They are looking for something more in this life
They are open to the topic of Christianity unlike many around the world
They have experienced real, genuine love for the first time which they are drawn to