Christianity exploding in China

This Asia Times article points out that Christianity — mostly of the Protestant variety — is exploding in China. The author points out that nearly 30 percent of the population of South Korea is Christian, and that China could head in that same direction in the next few decades.

One result could be what we’re seeing today from Korea, Africa, the Philippines and Latin America: missionaries proselytizing the U.S. and Europe. The author also contemplates the effect of a growing Chinese Christian population on Muslim countries and says missionaries to the Muslim world are being prepared today.

It seems to me the growth of Christianity in China makes it inevitable that the Church will be able to operate openly there soon. I have no inside knowledge on this issue — I just know we’ve had some success in Hong Kong and Taiwan, so mainland China has to be next.

Anybody interested in this subject should read “Jesus in Beijing,” a which makes claims that the growth of Christianity in China will make the country markedly friendlier to the United States in the years to come and change the global balance of power.

NOTE 1: John Derbyshire, a writer for National Review who is a longtime China hand, is skeptical of any explosion of Christianity in China. He notes that both Taiwan and Hong Kong have had Christian missionaries for decades and have Christian populations of less than 10 percent. The same thing applies to Japan, by the way.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

7 thoughts on “Christianity exploding in China

  1. Interesting stuff. I can only imagine what would happen to our growth if we had missionaries in China.

  2. If Christianity took a 10% hold in China, that would be 10% of what 2 Billion? That’s 200 Million… Nothing to sneeze at. The Question is when does the Church move in?

  3. The gospel is already going to mainland China in a very discreet way. Some, though not many, Chinese citizens (from young adults to middle-aged folks) have joined the LDS church while studying here in the states and have moved back to China. I’ve been told by American friends of such converts that those converts are in contact with the Asian Area Presidency of the LDS church. While those converts can’t proselyte, they are quietly letting other Chinese citizens know what they believe. Last year I witnessed the baptism of a Chinese national, a professor doing post-grad study here, who is now back in China.

    Although not members of our church, there are many Chinese congregations in all the major cities of the US, including Catholic, and various Protestant faiths. They too represent potential converts to the church who could go back to China to spread the gospel when the time comes.

    Plus there are great numbers of “un-churched” Chinese in the United States who are potential converts.

    There could even be a major paradigm change in missionary work as it pertains to China. Instead of just 19 year olds, the church may call Chinese member couples and families from the US to just pick up and move to China, and spread the gospel that way, by living and working full time there, and being “ward missionaries”, not full time missionaries.

    Another paradigm change for China might be full-time or part-time missions for couples and families where the church pays the expenses, since the working-age father would be giving up his career for a year or so.

    There is precedent for these things in the early years of the restoration, when married men were called on missions, and the members were called upon to support his wife and children while he was gone.

    It’s a changing world, and I bet the prophet and apostles and other GA’s are thinking outside the box.

  4. I’ve been a resident of Taiwan for 12 years. My wife is local. My children attend school here.

    Besides my little crew, the island is home to many faithful LDS.

    It doesn’t sit right with me when I go to register at http://www.familysearch.org and my country of residence is listed as “Taiwan, Province of China”. I’m quite familiar with the place I’ve called home for the past dozen years, and it’s NOT a province of China nor of any other country — it’s a gloriously messy and dynamic democracy. We call it “Taiwan”. The Chinese Communist Party calls us a “province of China” and the KMT Chinese Nationalists call us a “republic of China”, but these historical fictions are as musty as they are misleading. We live in “Taiwan”. Full stop.

    It also bothers me that the bloggernacle continues to be banned in China. It is also apparently banned in Saudi Arabia. What to make of this? I was recently reminded of this by this comment at T&S:

    http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=4027#comment-231983

    All I ask is that whatever “out of the box” thinking gets applied to our situation, that those doing the thinking please keep in mind that we here in Taiwan live free, work hard, and vote with hundreds of Chinese missiles pointed our way. Intimidated? No. Disappointed if the USA and Americans forget us in their enthusiasm to embrace China? Absolutely.

  5. I was reading a blog from a year ago which sheds an interesting light on comments of this blog…

    You mention there are several non-member church groups (catholic & protestant) that represent “potential converts.” That shows that LDS members do not see other Christians as “on the same side.” That is qutie disturbing.

  6. Megs, your concern is completely unfounded. Haven’t you ever talked to a Catholic priest or a Baptist minister? I have plenty of times, and they both talk about “converting” other Christians to their religion. It is done with gentle persuasion and hopefully will involve the Holy Ghost confirming a correct decision. I have worked with other Christians on humanitarian missions in the U.S. and in other countries. We are all part of the greater movement that celebrates Christ as the son of God who died on the cross for us. The Book of Mormon specifically gives us a test whether to know whether something is true: if it promotes Jesus Christ as the Messiah, it is true, if it does not, it is not true. So, in the sense of celebrating the Savior, other Christian denominations are true and “on the same side.” In the sense of not having what Mormons believe to be the “full truth” (my words) or the “fullness of the Gospel” (the Church’s words), other Christian denominations are limited. We hope to give them “greater light and knowledge” that is only available in the Church. There is nothing disturbing about that.

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