Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Report: China has 39 Million Christians

Excerpts from a recent article by ASSIST New Service:

"To get the facts, China Partner sent teams to every province, municipality and autonomous region in China - 31 in all. The only region they did not survey was Tibet. Over a 13-month period, his team interviewed 5,430 people ranging in age from 16-92 from a wide variety of occupations. The surveys took place in parks, markets, subways, buses, on the streets, and in numerous other locales.

Based on their polling, Burklin believes there are 39 million Protestant Christians in China, with a three percent margin of error. He estimates roughly half are in the underground church, and the other half are in government-approved churches.

...

Interestingly, another survey done at about the same time as Burklin's confirms his results. Professor Liu Zhongyu from East China Normal University in Shanghai surveyed 4,500 people in every province in China over a 12-month period during 2006 and 2007. His survey found 40 million Protestant Christians and roughly 14 million Catholics, with about 10 million Catholics worshipping in underground churches and the remainder in government-approved churches.

Most believe there were approximately 700,000 Christians in 1949, when China closed to traditional missionary activities. So 53-54 million Protestants and Catholics today still demonstrates remarkable growth. "I think the growth of the church in China is faster than anywhere in the world in church history," Burklin proudly notes. "I'm thankful for what God is doing in China."

"What's caused the church to grow in China?" he asks. "We don't know for sure, but God has the providence to do it His way. He has chosen China to be a field that's multiplied like no other."
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