The Plan That Backfired
The total number of Christians in China today is close
or equal to 1/3 of the total U.S. population.
One church building that was completely destroyed by Chinese authorities
In 1949 the People’s Republic of China came into power and sent the church underground, when it evicted over 5,000 Western missionaries. It is estimated there were fewer than 1,000,000 Christians at the time of this upheaval. Despite the persecution in the decades to follow, ironically this plan to eradicate religion in the People’s Republic of China may have contributed to the greatest explosion in Christianity ever.
Today, it is estimated that the number of Christians in China (derived from the underground indigenous ministries) are between 80,000,000 and 100,000,000. As a Majority World country, China has the largest number of evangelical Christians.
Growth and Persecution of the Church Continues
Visitors to China might come back telling about all the new freedom taking place in various spheres of life, including religious freedom. It is true that there has been some leniency and even some Westernization – but true religious freedom is not a reality.
The state regulates and controls the “Three-Self Church,” a quasi-Christian church. Most of them are used as a "window dressing" for the sake of foreign visitors. Underground house churches, however, are different. Officials closely scrutinize these small congregations and their benefactors.
Believers are being attacked, beaten and imprisoned because of their faith. If support from Western believers is given to the underground churches, it must be done very discreetly.
For the past 20 years Christian Aid has established many secure inroads to the ministries, Bible schools (50+), underground churches, and missionaries on the field throughout every province in China. These efforts have been successful because of the dedication and willingness of workers who made a commitment they take seriously.