Christianity in China

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Bro. Curtis, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    Chinese are embracing Christianity in a social revolution that is spreading through town and countryside to the point where Christians already may outnumber members of the Communist Party of China.
    Visits to villages in backward rural provinces or to urban churches in Beijing, where even on weekdays the young and middle-aged gather to proclaim their faith, confirm the ease with which conversions can be won.
    "City people have real problems, and mental pain, that they can't resolve on their own. So it's easy for us to convert these people to Christianity," said Xun Jinzhen, who preaches to customers at a beauty salon in Beijing.
    "In the countryside, people are richer than before, but they still have problems with their health and in family relationships. Then it's also very easy to bring them to Christianity."
    State-sanctioned Protestant and Catholic churches in China count up to 35 million followers, making Christianity the third most practiced religion in the country after Buddhism and Taoism. Islam ranks fourth.
    Even more significant is a steadily growing network of underground or "house" churches, which are said to have up to 100 million members.
    That compares with an official total of 70 million members of the Communist Party, many of whom have lost faith as the party has moved away from strict ideological principles toward increasing acceptance of free markets....


    State-run churches in China....
    Who wants to bet some of those underground churches are Independant Baptist ?
     
  2. JohnAMac

    JohnAMac
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    What I've heard about the house churches in China is that most of them will have a few blended characteristics of the denominations that were present in the missionary force when China was closed to foreign mission activity, and that you will find people of pretty much all of these influences in every congregation, state sanctioned or not. My wife and I have close friends who work for an oil company and live in Shanghai, who tell us that one of the wonderful features of Christianity in China is its unity and the clear lack of denominational divisions, and that this is one of the church's most credible claims to legitimacy. Amazing what three or four decades of persecution has done to unite the followers of Christ and end the petty bickering over denominational differences and the argument over who is more right than who.

    I think the concept of "state-run" churches isn't accurate. From what we've heard from those who have been there, it is more like the churches are registered with the state, but each congregation pretty much runs its own affairs without interference.The Chinese government is not so much afraid of the church or the content of its teaching, but of the foreign influence that Christianity once represented in their country. Our friends tell us they are free to attend Chinese churches, and even be involved in some of the ministry activity, but as foreigners, they must be careful not to be seen as "missionaries." On the other hand, they observe that the Chinese Christians are pretty much free to practice their faith, including evangelism. They've been to both a small "house" congregation, and at least two of the state-licensed churches. One of them meets in a building that once housed a Baptist congregation, and has six worship services all day on Sunday to accomodate the crowds. And the number that we've heard them speak of, including both the state-licensed congregants and the "house" churches is about 50 million.

    I hope China's Christians remain united and identified simply as "Christians," and don't fall into the pattern of division into denominations. Perhaps one day, even the Christian church in America will become a unified body in Christ without the denominational factions, and will be what Christ originally envisioned his church to be, under one Lord, one faith, one Baptism.
     
  3. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    Thanks for posting this, Brother Curtis! [​IMG]
     

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