All Those Chinese Christians Can’t Be Wrong: The Culture-Shaping Power of Christianity
By Eric Metaxas
At the time of Chairman Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, Christianity in China seemed on the verge of extinction.
Less than four decades later though, not only has Christianity in China not disappeared, but by some estimates there’ll be more Christians in China come the year 2030 than in any other country in the world.
Purdue sociologist Fenggang Yang, author of the book, “Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule,” told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that “China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon.”
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How soon? Yang said that “it is going to be less than a generation,” and added that “not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
According to his estimates, by 2030 there’ll be 247 million Christians in China. While that will represent less than one-fifth of the population, it may—depending on how you count who is a Christian and who is not—be the largest Christian population in absolute terms in the world.
And remember, China is officially an atheist state that routinely harasses and persecutes Christians who get out of line.
This harassment is by and large an acknowledgment by the Communist government of Christianity’s ability to shape a culture. William Jeynes of California State University at Long Beach has written about how, on the one hand, Chinese officials are warily open to Christianity, because they see the link between Christianity and the West’s economic success.
But on the other hand, they also see a link between Christianity and Western freedoms, which is why they try to control the practice of Christianity…