China on Track to Be 'World's Most Christian Nation' Within 15 Years
The Telegraph recently reported that China will become the world's most Christian nation by 2030. Tom Philips writes of "Communist China's breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth." Philips reports, "Christian congregations … have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976 signaled the end of the Cultural Revolution."
Data indicates that "China is now poised to become not just the world's number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation." While there were only 1 million Chinese Protestants in 1949, that grew to over 58 million by 2010, and continues to rise. Professor Fenggang Yang, a sociologist from Purdue University,
"…[B]elieves that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States."
Yang comments: "Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this. It's ironic—they didn't. They actually failed completely."
The Gospel Coalition has some interesting numbers on the trend, too: "If current trends hold, in 2030 Christians in China will make up almost 9 percent of the total population. While the ratio of Christians to population would still be small, the total numbers are astounding. By mid-century, China may have more citizens who identify as Christians than the United States has citizens."
They conclude with a humbling vision of the future:
"Those of us in the West should continue to support our Chinese brothers and sisters with finances, missionaries, theological resources, and— most importantly—prayer. In the latter half of this century, assuming the Lord tarries, we may need them to do the same for the American church."
Copyright © 2014 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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