The Plan That Backfired

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.

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. 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, underground churches, and missionaries on the field throughout every province in China.