By Editorial Staff
Published June 1, 1988
BEIJING, China (FR) – Chinese youth are becoming disillusioned with empty Marxist slogans and corruption in the Communist party and are turning to Christianity in record numbers, according to a recent report in Newsweek. “So many Communist Party members don’t practice what Marxism preaches,” said Chen Yinghui, a Protestant student at Beijing’s teachers’ college. “They give us nothing to believe in.”
Another student agreed with Yinghui: “Party members are not the ones helping others. They just do things to get ahead. But Christians do good deeds without telling anyone about it.” Although few students attend church, Bibles which were once forbidden are now being purchased at more than double the official price.
Party officials have become concerned about “Christianity fever” and recently reviewed an internal report on the reasons for the growing popularity of Christianity, especially among intellectuals and young people. The report was prepared by the Hong Kong-based Chinese Church Research Center and compiled by two writers from the New China News Agency who visited several cities. The writers described the growth of “Christianity fever” as being due to government corruption and the Communist party.
According to the report, some Chinese have turned to Christianity to find happiness or because Christians have shown them kindness. However, the report added that most of the Christian activities are harmless to the development of the country’s socialist civilization.
Before Chairman Mao Tse Tung came to power, there were only 700,000 Chinese Christians in his country. Today there are more than 10 million, and every 36 hours Christian officials claim that a new church opens up somewhere in China. “Society has a need for Christianity,” related Kang Xuequing, a stout, silver-haired pastor at Beijing’s Protest Chongwenmen Church. “People are looking for reliable and believable things, and they find that God is dependable.” Kang spent 10 years being “re-educated” in a factory, in which he was forced to bow 100 times to a picture of Chairman Mao. But he returned to the church full-time in 1979 after Deng Xiaoping came to power.
President George Bush and his wife recently visited Kang’s church during their recent whirlwind tour of Asia. Their daughter Dorothy was baptized there as a teenager, 14 years ago, when Bush was head of the U.S. mission to China. In those days services were held in a single room at another location, and attendance was restricted to foreigners, according to church sources. Bush described the church as “our home away from home” in the 1970s, and he borrowed a theme from sermons Billy Graham preached in China last year: “Some things change, some things never change.”
The congregation laughed when he told how he rode a bicyle to services years earlier. However, on this occasion he arrived in a 20-car motorcade. Kang, 67, was Bush’s tennis partner as well as pastor when Bush was based there. He gave the Bushes hymnals and a Chinese Bible, along with a tape cassette of choir music for Dorothy. Bush in turn gave Kang a black leather pulpit-size Bible. Bush said, “Sometimes our problems can seem bigger than life itself, intractable and fearsome. But I am convinced that with each other, that with our faith in God, we can meet any challenge, and we will.”
In a culture that upholds atheistic values, church leaders are careful not to offend the government or the Communist Party. Foreign evangelists are outlawed, but underground churches are growing at the same rate as the official church, due to missionaries who pose as tourists or teachers.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » China
Your comments are welcome!
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)