Monday, June 09, 2014

WASHINGTON: Panel Looks at Christianity's Rapid Growth in China despite Persecution

June 4, 2014

A panel of experts on Christianity in China at a Brookings Institution event titled "Christianity in China: A Force for Change?" on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. From left to right: Rev. Zhang Boli, head pastor of Washington Harvest Chinese Christian Church; Richard Bush, director of Brookings' Center for East Asia Policy Studies; Liu Peng, professor at the Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Science; and Carsten Vala, assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland.

Even as the Communist Chinese government recently cracked down on Christian communities, Christianity continues to grow rapidly in the People's Republic.

This was the observation noted by a panel – titled "Christianity in China: A Force for Change?" –sponsored by the Brooking s Institution on Tuesday. Experts discussed the growth of Christianity, especially in the years since 1989, after the infamous crackdown on demonstrators at Tiananmen Square.

Carsten Vala, assistant professor at the Political Science Department of Loyola University Maryland and one of the panelists, told The Christian Post how many Chinese Christians view recent actions against them.

"Chinese Christian leaders look at this as a winnowing effect, so those who are not true Christians will leave the churches; the 'Sunday Christians,'" said Vala.

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