Wednesday, April 23, 2014

China On Its Way To Becoming The Largest Christian Nation

From the April 19, 2014 Telegraph, an interesting article that confirms what I have been reading elsewhere: while Christianity is collapsing in the West (and in the U.S.), it is growing rapidly in China:
China's Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre's Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.
By 2030, China's total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.
"Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this," Prof Yang said. "It's ironic – they didn't. They actually failed completely."

1 comment:

Rich Rostrom said...

This is another example of China's impact on the world through the sheer size and ability of its population.

Historically, China has had comparatively little impact on the world outside its borders.

Compare to France, Spain, England, Greece, even Ireland or Portugal. Or Arabia, or Japan. Through the great Age of Sail, China deliberately closed itself off from the world; in the late 19th and the 20th centuries, China was buried under incompetent or demented government, invasion, and disorder. There was no significant Chinese presence in the world; just a handful of exotic immigrants, mostly cooks and laundrymen, and sliver of antique culture.

Now China is engaged with the world on an equal footing, and starting to make a proportional impact. So, compared to any other nation, China will have more billionaires, more designers, more films, more scientists, more athletes (and sports fans), more books, more celebrities - and more Christians.

All of these milieus will become substantially Chinese. The impact of this on Christianity will be interesting. (Note however that the Chinese impact will meet a comparable African impact, while Europe is fading out.)