Despite being ruled by the atheist Communist party, mainland China’s “greatest secret” is the rapid growth of the Christian population, which has created a huge impact on society. The greatest challenge to this is not persecution from the authorities, but secularism brought about by economic development after reform and the open-door policy, said Jiang Yuanlai, a Protestant playwright from Shanghai. Jiang revealed these “secrets” in a talk on Modernization Seen From the Angle of Faith
in Taipei. The talk formed part of a lecture series, The China That You May Not Know
organized by the Lung Yingtai Cultural Foundation
. After the screening of the Bamboo Cross,
a documentary on the growth and development of the Protestant Church in China, Jiang said there are now around 100 million Christians in China, including 10 million Catholics. Jiang, 58, said in the three decades since the open-door policy, the Communists have turned from maintaining a strong ideological position to stressing pragmatism, and thus, “there are lots of possibilities in the future.” Years ago, “as a Christian, we could only pray for the ruling party while sacrificing our own interests to lead China in a better direction,” he said. Among the examples Jiang cited to demonstrate this was the solid faith of Catholic fisherman living in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in the 1990s. They tried to avoid persecution by holding Mass at midnight. In one area they rowed their boats to the center of a lake and surrounded a small, dimly-lit boat, in which an elderly priest celebrated Mass, he said. While noting that there are special economic zones in China, Jiang said that if there is to be any “religious special zone,” Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province should be the place, since house churches and government-sanctioned churches can be found everywhere. Related reports Underground churches petition Chinese govt Converts who come at a cost
Support UCA News...
UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.
UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.
Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.
As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.