By Catholic Online
1/21/2011 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
As President Hu Jintao meets with President Obama this week, some observers say an explosive growth in Christianity may be transforming the officially atheist regime. According to China Aid, the number of Christians in China has increased 100-fold since 1949. Current estimates range from 80 million to 130 million active members. One Chinese Christian businessman predicts that number doubling or even tripling in the next generation.
Beijing's often brutal crackdown on those of the Christian faith have included roundups, blacklisting and jailing. The government has driven thousands of followers underground, spurring on the house church network. It's estimated that 60 percent of Chinese Christians attend unregistered house churches.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As President Hu Jintao meets with President Obama this week, some observers say an explosive growth in Christianity may be transforming the officially atheist regime. According to China Aid, the number of Christians in China has increased 100-fold since 1949. Current estimates range from 80 million to 130 million active members. One Chinese Christian businessman predicts that number doubling or even tripling in the next generation.
According to Dr. David Aikman, author of "Jesus in Beijing," "If the Chinese become Christianized ... which doesn't mean you have a majority of people who are Christians, but it means about 25 to 30 percent of people in positions of influence, in politics, in culture, in the media. If you have that component of a major power that accepts Christianity enthusiastically as a guide to life, (then) that is going to change the world view of the leaders of China."
Protestant evangelist Dr. Luis Palau, who has preached in China, says Christians are among the country's most cohesive groups. "They all preach the same gospel. There are no liberals or conservative branches ... they all believe the same."
Supporters say even estimating 80 million Christians in China, a conservative figure, still has them outnumbering the membership of the Communist Party, which at last check, in June 2010, and was 78 million.
China Aid's Bob Fu says Christianity experienced growth after the Tiananmen Square conflict. Six of the 30 student leaders who were arrested converted to Christianity.
"Ironically," Fu says, "church history shows that the more the political persecution, the more believers there will be. This is the case in the Roman Empire, and also with China."
One observer contends that Chairman Mao Zedong, Communist China's founder, may have unwittingly paved the way.
"What Chairman Mao did that the emperors did not do, he brought in a form of pseudo monotheism, a pseudo person to worship ... himself ... as a personal god," Chan-Kei Thong, a businessman who lived and worked in China for 30 years. "The Christian God fits into that."
The Chinese government is not pleased at the prospect of Christianity's growth as the government says there are 28.6 million Christians. That's because it only counts churches that are registered with the government.
Beijing's often brutal crackdown on those of the Christian faith, have included roundups, blacklisting and jailing. The government has driven thousands of followers underground, spurring on the house church network. It's estimated that 60 percent of Chinese Christians attend unregistered house churches.
Catholic Christians in China have faced increasing hostility with the growth of what is called the "Patriotic" Church, a State sponsored Chinese Catholic expression which seeks to undermine the authority of the Pope and the teaching office, the Magisterium, of the Roman Catholic Church.
Recently, this Patriotic Church proceeded with the consecration of one of its own Bishops with no approval from the Holy See. Catholic bishops and Priests loyal to the Church were coerced and compelled to attend or face persecution. Pope benedict XVI has heroically and publicly spoken out against this persecution and encouraged the Chinese faithful to persevere.
By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Indian women suffer as rapists force families to accept money in exchange for silence. In many villages, women are blamed for being raped and men do not marry single mothers, as such women are seen as shameful. Without time to finish their educations, and beaten down ... continue reading
By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
A few days after Kim Jong Un ended a stand-off with South Korea, 50 North Korean submarines were reported to have vanished from radar. A possible surprise attack from the North is expected. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The North Korean submarines ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
A newborn died of rat bites in a government-ran hospital in the city of Vajayawada, located within the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Los Angeles, California (Catholic Online) - The newborn boy was born in the government-ran hospital where he was sent to the pediatric ... continue reading
By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
The remains of a newborn that was accidentally mummified 1500 years ago has been discovered in an ancient grave in Siberia. This discovery could lead to the unraveling of several mysteries concerning ancient Siberians. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading
By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Weddings are supposed to be one of the most memorable moments in a woman's lifetime. But for 15-year-old Nasoin Akhter it was nothing but loneliness. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Akhter was coerced into marriage with a 32-year-old man. In her wedding ... continue reading
By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Although the peninsula is technically still engaged in war, alarm and concern was raised in the region and other parts of the world after a report that North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un convened with the country's senior party and defense officials. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Known for its gentle ocean breezes, seafood, beaches, and fun activities, the Chinese seaside resort town of Beidaihe is very popular with tourists. Families and young people gather there in the summer months for fun in the sun. Bedidaihe is also very popular with ... continue reading
By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News
In a tiny victory for Vatican-Chinese rapprochement, China's government now recognizes seminary studies and allows seminarians to continue their education in a state university should they leave. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The Bachelor of Arts diploma young ... continue reading
By Carl Bunderson, CNA EWTN News
Christianity is spreading rapidly in China, and it could be because of how well the faith fits in with modern scientific technology. Fort Worth, Texas (CNA/EWTN News) - According to the renowned sociologist Rodney Stark, the number of Christians in China is growing ... continue reading
By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Floating fortresses are set for construction by two Chinese companies in an area of territorial dispute. Although the companies insist the plans were for a more commercialized and civilian engaging hub, but there are some that speculate the fortresses will serve for ... continue reading