According to the Christian charity Open Doors, the prospect that China's Christian community could reach a staggering 300 million people by 2030 has unnerved communist leaders who fear "they'll have to share power" as the church increases in size and influence.
The Chinese Communist Party, led by President Xi Jinping, is becoming increasingly concerned about the Christian population's growth and is cracking down on religion as a result.
"Even for those who already believe the Bible, it is still astonishing to see the power of the Gospel play out in our world today in an oppressive environment like Communist China," stated Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of the American Family Association.
Open Doors' director of strategic research, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, said, "And if it grows at the rate that it has done since 1980, and that's about between 7 and 8% a year, then you're looking at a group of people that will be 300 million strong, nearly, by 2030. And, you know, the Chinese leadership, they really do long-term planning, I mean, their economic plan goes to 2049, so this bothers them. Because I think if the church continues to grow like that, then they'll have to share power."
"What has been happening in that nation over the last 70-plus years has been nothing short of miraculous. Christians in the free world should take great encouragement from the church in China and remember to preach the gospel to our own neighbors because we can––freely and without fear," continued Vitagliano. "And let us not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters in China and elsewhere, as they endure tremendous pressure and persecution as they live faithful Christian lives and bear witness to the great love God has poured out to mankind through Jesus Christ."
Open Doors ranks China at No. 17 on its World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted.
The policy of "Sinicizing" the church—or merging it with Chinese identity—is being implemented across the country as the CCP relies strongly on Chinese cultural identity to stay in power by limiting whatever it perceives as a threat to its control on society.
Churches are being monitored and closed down across the country, whether they are underground or part of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the officially sanctioned Protestant church in China. The government has also imposed a ban on the online sale of Bibles. Additionally, China uses high-tech surveillance to oppress and monitor believers.
For over 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission. Find AFA Action Alerts here.
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