Thursday, August 09, 2007
Completing the circle
This from China
Perhaps the most remarkable burst of religious energy is in China's Pentecostal Christian population. At the time of the Communist takeover in 1949, there were roughly 900,000 Protestants. Today, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, which puts out the much-consulted World Christian Database, says there are 111 million Christians in China, roughly 90 percent Protestant and mostly Pentecostal. That would make China the third-largest Christian country on earth, following only the United States and Brazil.
It is projected that by 2050, there will be 218 million Christians in China, 16 percent of the population, enough to make China the world's second-largest Christian nation. According to Chinese sources, there are 10,000 conversions in China every day.
With the abduction of South Korean Christians in Afghanistan and the murder of their leaders, we are perhaps seeing the same sort of martyrdom that characterized the early church and missionary activity ever since. Chinese Christians see it as completing the circle. They believe that Christianity has spread ever westwards. from Jerusalem to Europe, from Europe to America, from America to China and now from China back through Moslem lands to Jerusalem.
'Christianity is the great liquidator of traditional society, calling individuals out of their tribes and nations to join the ekklesia, which transcends race and nation' According to this source, it will not be secularism that breaks the grip of Islam on the middle east, but a resurgent Christianity emerging from the most populous land on the planet.