Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Onward Christian Chinese Soldiers--UPDATED

Forget Eurabia, they're lost and Christianity is gone, too. However, another Christian power-house rises in the......East. Yes, East. And her name is China:

The World Christian Database offers by far the largest estimate of the number of Chinese Christians at 111 million, of whom 90% are Protestant, mostly Pentecostals. Other estimates are considerably lower, but no matter; what counts is the growth rate. This uniquely American denomination, which claims the inspiration to speak in tongues like Jesus' own disciples and to prophesy, is the world's fastest-growing religious movement, with 500,000 adherents. In contrast to Catholicism, which has a very long historic presence in China but whose growth has been slow, charismatic Protestantism has found its natural element in an atmosphere of official suppression. Barred from churches, Chinese began worshipping in homes, and five major "house church" movements and countless smaller ones now minister to as many as 100 million Christians. [2] This quasi-underground movement may now exceed in adherents the 75 million members of the Chinese Communist Party; in a generation it will be the most powerful force in the country.
Where traditional society remains entrenched in China's most backward regions, Islam also is expanding. At the edge of the Gobi Desert and on China's western border with Central Asia, Islam claims perhaps 30 million adherents. If Christianity is the liquidator of traditional society, I have argued in the past, Islam is its defender against the encroachments of leveling imperial expansion. But Islam in China remains the religion of the economic losers, whose geographic remoteness isolates them from the economic transformation on the coasts. Christianity, by contrast, has burgeoned among the new middle class in China's cities, where the greatest wealth and productivity are concentrated. Islam has a thousand-year presence in China and has grown by natural increase rather than conversion; evangelical Protestantism had almost no adherents in China a generation ago.

China's Protestants evangelized at the risk of liberty and sometimes life, and possess a sort of fervor not seen in Christian ranks for centuries. Their pastors have been beaten and jailed, and they have had to create their own institutions through the "house church" movement. Two years ago I warned that China would have to wait for democracy. [3] I wrote:
For a people to govern itself, it first must want to govern itself and want to do so with a passion. It also must know how to do so. Democracy requires an act of faith, or rather a whole set of acts of faith. The individual citizen must believe that a representative sitting far away in the capital will listen to his views, and know how to band together with other citizens to make their views known. That is why so-called civil society, the capillary network of associations that manage the ordinary affairs of life, is so essential to democracy. Americans elect their local school boards, create volunteer fire brigades and raise and spend tax dollars at the local level to provide parks or sewers.
China's network of house churches may turn out to be the leaven of democracy, like the radical Puritans of England who became the Congregationalists of New England. Freedom of worship is the first precondition for democracy, for it makes possible freedom of conscience. The fearless evangelists at the grassroots of China will, in the fullness of time, do more to bring US-style democracy to the world than all the nation-building bluster of President George W Bush and his advisers.

Wow. The Christians will have to overcome a very powerful government, though. Freedom is an irresistible force and it comes courtesy the Christian faith. One feeds the other.

H/T Brussels Journal and check out how Sweden is once again collaborating with the enemy. Who says history can't repeat itself? It's only been sixty years. Sixty.

UPDATE: Ah, this is what I couldn't find and just remembered to post with the Christian Soldiers bit. China is going after the Taliban, too:
Since China has come down hard on real, or perceived, Islamic radicalism at home, China is seen by Pakistani Islamic radicals as "foreign devils" and "enemies of Islam." The Islamic radicals recognize that China is crucial to maintaining Pakistani military and police power, and keeping the current government in power. So there are more attacks on Chinese by Pakistani Islamic radicals.
As I said here:
China won't lose the War on Terror. They meet brutality with brutality. It's something that even Islamists understand. That's why the fight isn't taking place in Taipei.

As long as al-Qaeda has Western allies, the fight will be with the West.
But the good thing about this is that Pakistan is being squeezed like a vice between the East and West, neither of whom are interested in seeing their citizens blown to smithereens.

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