Although persecution has been growing in China recently, experts say so is Christianity.
Despite the recent campaign to take down the large crosses atop many Chinese churches, Christianity is gaining ground in China, particularly among the well-educated.
In 1980 it was estimated that there were about 10 million Christians in China, now estimates say there are about 100 million, according to a Christian Today report.
Why this exponential growth?
Two academics provide an answer. Rodney Stark and Xiuhua Wang in their new book "A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China," posit that Christianity is growing in China, particularly among the well-educated, because old Chinese religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism do not fit in well with the modern world and are often seen as “anti-progress.”
Stark stated that many Chinese individuals believe Christianity is the only religion that allows them to move from their cultural traditions and past into the modern world of industry and technology.
Whereas the traditional Chinese religions focus on China’s glorious past and don’t hold much hope for the future, Christianity provides a framework in which to explore the meaning of life in the modern era which is something many Chinese are searching for.
Publication date: August 19, 2015