For those lamenting the death of Christianity because of declining religious adherence numbers in the United States, there is better news from much of the rest of the world, where Christian numbers are growing. An example of that is in China, writes Eric Metaxas in a recent BreakPoint commentary.
“At the time of the Communist takeover in 1949, there were an estimated 5 million Christians in China. The Communists…set out to destroy China’s old belief systems, including its small Christian community, and by the time of Mao’s death in 1976 had largely succeeded. Even after Mao’s death, Christians are still subject to harassment, arrest, and imprisonment for practicing their faith.
“Yet there are now as many Christians as there are members of the Communist Party. By some estimates there’ll be more Christians in China than in the United States by 2030. This doesn’t take into account the level of commitment required to be a Christian in China. Think about it: Being a member of the Communist Party comes with real political and economic benefits. Being a Christian invites discrimination and even a knock on the door in the middle of the night.
“So, why the explosive growth of Christianity in China? While a change in economic policies and the individual pursuit of fortune could address China’s economic problems, it could not provide people or the nation with a sense of purpose.
“So what emerged was a spiritual void. For many Chinese, that void is being filled by Jesus Christ.” (Read the rest of the commentary.)
As we think about the possibility of Christianity becoming a minority faith in the United States, take heart: God does some of His greatest work where and when we least expect it.