China Gripped by Revival as Millions Turn to Faith
Forty-one years after China’s Cultural Revolution snuffed out all forms of religious expression, millions of Chinese people are flocking to religions such as Christianity. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson believes what’s transpiring in China is nothing short of “one of the world’s great spiritual revivals,” and he says the world better take note because the impact of this “spiritual transformation” could have significant global implications. “People [in China] are looking for new moral guideposts, some sort of moral compass to organize society,” says Johnson. “So they are turning to religion as a source of values to help reorganize society.” Johnson spent six years researching the “values and faiths of today’s China.” He says the fastest-growing drivers of this “religious revolution” are unregistered churches or so-called “house” or “underground” churches. “These groups have become surprisingly well-organized, meeting very openly and often counting hundreds of congregants,” Johnson wrote in an article for The Atlantic. “They’ve helped the number of Protestants soar from about one million when the communists took power to at least 60 million today.” Church leaders told CBN News that prayer has played a key role in sparking the Christian revival. For example, in one corner of northeast China, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thousands of Christians have been meeting for an unprecedented prayer movement. What started as a small gathering several years ago has turned into a nationwide prayer initiative uniting hundreds of Chinese churches. While the government remains deeply suspicious of China’s religious revival, Johnson says it hasn’t stopped people from exploring matters of faith. –Reprinted with permission from CBN News.