February 20, 2013

Christianity Growing in China

In one recent month, Google Analytics which records activity for Contemporary Parable reported that over 600 hits originated in China. That statistic surprised me until Nancy and I attended a sold out performance of Chinese music and dance created by Shen Yun Performing Arts.

Animated backdrops, brightly colored costumes and classical Chinese dance help Shen Yun performances to sell out over the world___ except in China. That’s because Shen Yun, which attempts to renew the divinely inspired cultural heritage of China, is associated with the popular spiritual group Falun Gong, banned by the Chinese Communist Party in 1999.

On the other hand, Christianity in China, which is controlled but not suppressed as it was prior to the late 1970ies, is growing rapidly.  A recent article in The Daily Telegraph published in London reports:
“ . . . despite government controls, the number of Christians in China has rocketed since the 1980s with many worshipping in illegal "house churches" which are subject to sporadic crackdowns. Some estimates suggest there are now as many as 130 million practicing Christians in China.”
The trend in this country is just the opposite. Christianity in the United States is in decline, and the number of Americans who have rejected religion entirely has soared.

How ironic that in China where Christianity is controlled and congregations are required to register with the government, thousands of people are turning to Christ, but in the United States where we have always been free to worship as we choose, people are abandoning the Savior.