Skip to main content

Like a Grain of Mustard Seed: The Chinese Church Today

Both BBC News and Aljazeera have written recently about the tremendous growth and increasing influence of the evangelical church in China. The news is no surprise, especially to those who have been observing and writing about it for a while; but the fact that it is making headlines internationally is a good reminder to the global church of our ongoing need to know the welfare of our own Body.
According to The Lausanne Movement’s recent analysis of five separate sources, the number of Christians in China (Protestant and Catholic) is somewhere around 100 million. Compare this to the estimated 2.3 million in 1920, and marvel at what the Lord has done.
Among today’s 100 million Chinese Christians, approximately 80% are Protestants. Within this group there are two primary movements: those in the government-registered “Three-Self” church, and those in the unofficial, often underground, house church.

The Chinese “Three-Self” Church

The Three-Self church refers to the government-approved organization of Protestant churches who, after the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, sought to remove themselves from any foreign influence by becoming self-governed, self-supported, and self-propagating.
Being government sanctioned has undoubtedly limited the Three-Self church’s message and mission in the past. But in recent years these limitations have eased significantly so that the whole gospel can be heard in many of the registered churches across China today.
It is at least worth noting that just last year the largest registered church in China hosted an event with Luis Palau, about which he stated, “I have had no restrictions placed on me concerning my message . . . . of Jesus Christ, his crucifixion, and his resurrection.” In 2008 Franklin Graham spoke at this same church, and then at the second largest registered church the following year, each time presenting a clear gospel message.
The size of the Three-Self church, according to their website’s June update, is 23 million.

The “House Church” Movement

The size of the Chinese house church is more difficult to determine, because house church believers are not included in official statistics and many congregations remain “underground.” Nevertheless, as indicated in the analysis above, it is believed to be significantly larger than any other segment of Christianity in China, approximately 60 million strong.
House churches began in the early 1950s among Christians who did not want to submit their worship to government supervision. This required them to meet secretly, usually in a house, thus giving them the designation “house churches.” The movement has seen substantial growth since that time, particularly in the countryside. However, in recent years, it has spread to China’s cities, so that now there is even talk of a specific “urban house church movement.” Some of these urban house church leaders and congregations have even made known their existence and their desire to worship publicly.

Do Good to Everyone, Especially the Church

Whether official or unofficial, the Body of Christ in China is already very large and, by all appearances, growing larger. Given the command to “do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (GALATIANS 6:10), Christians throughout the world are due to ask again, if not for the first time, “How can we serve our Chinese brothers and sisters?”


Popular posts from this blog

When God turns a deaf ear on prayers

Does God always hear people’s prayers, or do some pray in vain thinking that God hears them, when in reality He chooses to turn a deaf hear to their cries? Some may perhaps have a notion that all prayers are worthy, and God being who He is is by nature willing to listen and hear their prayers delightfully. They entertain the notion that it is their birth right for God to listen to their prayers and answer them accordingly. Also, there are some who come before the presence of the Lord with severe doubts, defeated by the devils whisper that they are such an unworthy soul that for them to lift up their cries to the Lord is an abomination. They are mute by their own wickedness, depressed and thus fail to pray.

What does the scripture say about God turning a deaf hear to prayers? It is to be said that God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer as He sees fit. He is altogether happy and never backed into a corner, God always does whatever He pleases for He is free to do as He wills…

What does it mean to live a godly life?

If you ever asked yourself the question, what does it mean to live a godly life? and if your not exactly sure what living a godly life involves, this extract taking from Charles Seet book 'A Christian in a non-Christian world' provides ample guidance on just what to do.

Now it is worth asking the question then, 'What does it mean to live godly?' It does not mean that we are just to confine ourselves within a set of rules and regulations. Some people reduce godly living to a list of 'do’s and don'ts.' But the meaning of godly living goes far deeper than that.

Godly living means living in the manner that God wants us to live. It means having the same feelings, attitudes and heart's desires that God has. It means that we love the things that God loves, care for the things that God cares for, and dislike those things which He dislikes. And since God loves righteousness, a godly person also loves righteousness. Since God hates sin, a godly person also hates …

Women of the Bible: Adah and Zillah

The Sin of Adam and Eve resulted in the fall of humanity. Every generation after them became wicked and that is why scripture affirms, ‘that there is no one righteous, no, not even one.’ Mankind became enslave to the passions of its flesh, its desires became its ruler and men followed the natural dictates of their hearts; and were it not for Sovereign grace, the race of men would now only be read of by angels in the library of extinct creatures. Adam and Eve witnessed the consequences of their sin in the death of their beloved son, Abel, by the hands of Cain who murdered his brother in anger and was thus sent away from the presence of God. My dear sisters, sin is not only sin when it is found in its extremes, sin is also sin in its subtlety and vanity. Sin is sin when one's affection is set on another and not on God, when one lives to please a thing or a being which is not God; this is also sin.
This becomes especially evident in the lives of Adah and Zillah the wives of Lamech. Th…