04/29/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – China is historically known for its animosity towards Christianity. Because Christianity teaches freedom of choice and responsibility, the atheistic communist government views it as a threat.
Despite restrictive authorities, the Chinese Church continues to grow. Estimates by The Economist and Operation World place the population of Christians at over 100 million. In 2010, the number was estimated at between 30-67 million. In comparison, at the time of Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, the number was less than 8 million.
There are many reasons for this shift. China is actively sending workers throughout the globe, especially Africa, to capitalize on natural resources. This has given Chinese immigrants exposure to Christianity, and many convert. They then return home and share the Gospel message. Some posit that China has been soul-searching since the death of its founder, Mao Zedong. With his death, the Chinese began looking to fill the void their leader left behind.
The government places firm restrictions on the practice of Christianity. Churches must be sanctioned by the government. However, only a third of all Christians in China attend these churches. The Chinese government continues to encourage atheism for its population. China rates a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.