Many folks have long considered America to always have been and still is a Christian Nation. Now there are many arguments surrounding that. One can argue about our values being much closer to those of the Bible than other countries. Others would argue, what semblance of biblical literacy do people still have in the most literate place on earth? Many are just referring to the sheer number of people who call themselves “Christian”. We then ask how many of those are true believers versus being culturally Christian? Well for sometime now the experts have been keeping their eye on countries like Africa, South America and of course China because of the massive number of “conversions” reported. The axis of faith has shifted to the margins, to the poor of this world. Forget the West and the idea that America is still the center of God’s redeeming work the Holy Spirit is vibrant in these other parts of the world. They are doing “more” than we are. Their numbers inrease daily. They are developing strategies to reach other parts of the world including the US. The Spirit moves with or without us. Let’s just focus on China for now. Right now, it’s somewhere between 80-100 million Christians and growing rapidly. If we simply consider mere numbers China would be the largest Christian Nation in the world by mid-century according to experts.
Ten thousand Chinese become Christians each day, according to a stunning report by the National Catholic Reporter’s veteran correspondent John Allen, and 200 million Chinese may comprise the world’s largest concentration of Christians by mid-century, and the largest missionary force in history. If you read a single news article about China this year, make sure it is this one.
I suspect that even the most enthusiastic accounts err on the downside, and that Christianity will have become a Sino-centric religion two generations from now. China may be for the 21st century what Europe was during the 8th-11th centuries, and America has been during the past 200 years: the natural ground for mass evangelization. If this occurs, the world will change beyond our capacity to recognize it. Islam might defeat the western Europeans, simply by replacing their diminishing numbers with immigrants, but it will crumble beneath the challenge from the East.
What is God doing in China? What are the implications? Numbers are what people think about first and most. It’s really much more complicated by that. This year actually marks 200th anniversary of the first protestant missionary to China, Robert Morrison. Missions to China actually goes back before Morrison to the 1500s with the Jesuits and prolly even before that. The process of the work of God in China has shown us many things not only about missions but the growth of the church (i’d rather not say church growth) and personal discipleship. It has caused us to reconsider our methodologies and even our securities.
Christianity and the Chinese People, posted by DJChuang on L2Foundation’s blog
Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Changing the Global Balance of Power by David Aikman
Also on David Aikman and China in The Weekly Standard, China’s Next Big Move
The Back to Jerusalem Movement
Back to Jerusalem, Three Chinese House Church Leaders Share Their Vision to Complete the Great Commission
Christianity Today on the Back to Jerusalem Movement