Within 15 years, China should become the country with the most Christians in the world, according to a study.
Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University, predicts that China will reach 224 million Christians by the year 2030, as quoted in the UK Financial Times.
“By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Yang, an expert in sociology and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule, in the UK Telegraph. “It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
The explosion of Christianity in China will upend the traditional Christian powerhouses of the world. In 2010, the U.S. had around 159 million Protestants, and many observers say congregations are in decline.
As part of a possible passing of the baton, China is now sending missionaries – especially to North Korea
“The number of Christians is extremely underestimated (in China) intentionally because the increase of religion would reflect negatively on government officials.” said Yang.
Currently, there are about 100 million Christians in the world’s most populous nation, which eclipses the 86.7 million-strong membership of the ruling Communist party, according to the Financial Times.
Jin Hongxin, 40, is not interested in the political or missiological implications of Chinese growth. She’s just proud to attend the mega church Liushi in Wenzhou, the city many outside observers call China’s Jerusalem due to its flourishing Christian churches.
“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence,” she said at an Easter service, as reported by the Telegraph. “If everyone in China believed in Jesus then we would have no more need for police stations. There would be no more bad people and therefore no more crime.”
China’s churches started experiencing astronomical growth after the conclusion of the Cultural Revolution in 1976. A successor to Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping, reformed politics, liberalized the economy, and opened China to foreign countries. Read the rest of the story.
Editor’s Note: Chad Dou wrote this as a journalism assignment in my elective class at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.