Christianity is growing in China even though the atheist, communist government does not promote the faith and has closed churches and jailed some believers. It is not known exactly how many Christians are in China because some people will not reveal that they are Christians since they fear government reprisal. China is on course to become home to more Christians than any country in the world by 2030.
A confirmation of Christianity’s growing presence in China is Elizabeth Martin, who is an active member at RiverLakes Community Church. Born and raised in China, she recently became an American citizen. Her current job requires her to visit China often. Each time she visits China, Elizabeth goes to churches in various locations around the country. “Christianity continues to spread and grow in China. It is growing in big cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as in small towns like Zhuzhou in the heart of China,” states Elizabeth.
“I am always touched and moved by the dedication and enthusiasm of the believers at the services I attend,” remembers Elizabeth. “With economic development in China, people often find the emptiness of their heart. Only Christianity can fill that emptiness. The church provides a safe harbor for a tiring body and empty heart. Their hungry spirit can get nourished each week from the big church family.”
How can growth in Christianity occur in a communist country? Elizabeth offers this perspective, “I don’t think the Communist government is more accepting of Christianity. On the contrary, I was told the government is tightening up its supervision of churches. However, no one can stand in God’s way when God is doing His work. Evangelism is such a strong force right now, spreading all over China. Also, with so many Christians now in China, it would look bad if the government closed down churches where Christians preach love and peace. So I think Christianity will continue to grow in China.”
Christianity’s growth was clearly evident in Elizabeth’s recent visit. Elizabeth explains: “I know I can find churches in large cities with large populations, but I was not prepared to see churches in the countryside where few people live. I went to visit my aunt and uncle in the countryside who live in a small neighborhood of a few houses. In this small neighborhood I saw a house with a cross on the rooftop.
So I asked my aunt and she explained it is a church that has weekly Saturday services. I was so pleasantly surprised to see Christianity spreading to the countryside where things come to them last; it is more like the last frontier in all aspects. They have been left behind in economic development and it’s amazing that there are evangelists spreading God’s Word even in a small remote village, not just in big cities. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19). When Luke said that, I think He meant it literally. The little church in the heart of the countryside is there to help those less privileged people.”
The biggest need in China today is solid understanding of the Bible. Since Christianity is spreading so fast, China needs pastors with a solid understanding of the gospel. This has been confirmed recently by well-known pastor and author Chuck Swindoll. He met with several pastors from China and they shared that to keep up with the growth occurring, they need about 100 new churches weekly. Yes, weekly! This is a great need as Elizabeth confirms, “I pray they receive all the resources needed so they can plant churches on a solid foundation.”