Christianity in China
Arguably, the greatest revival since Christ came to earth is happening in China today! Every day, an estimated 20,000 or more Chinese are becoming Christians. For the first time in China's 5000-year history, university students, scholars, and intellectuals are truly open to the gospel, and coming to Christ in significant numbers. Healings and other miracles are frequently reported. Many Chinese evangelists, often brave young peasant girls in their teens, are going to unreached parts of their country planting churches.
Chinese describe their hearts as empty and dark. Much of the hold of traditional Chinese religions, such as buddhism, confucianism, and taoism, was weakened by the anti-supernatural government education. The net result has been a deep spiritual vacuum. Without at moral foundation, the resulting rise in divorce, crime, dishonesty, prostitution, corruption, etc., is alarming to many Chinese. The current fascination with all things Western have together greatly diminished resistance to Christianity as a foreign religion. God has sovereignty sent a great move of His Spirit at this time of great hunger and openness!
Many forces are competing to fill the vacuum. The tremendous growth of the Chinese economy since Deng Xiao Ping's policies were implemented beginning in 1979 has resulted in relative prosperity; many Chinese are intoxicated with this sudden availability of wealth. Materialism is perhaps the greatest threat to the current revival.
At the same time, Buddhism and neo- Confucianism are making a comeback, also vying for the hearts of China. Many non-Han minorities remain very resistant to any spiritual change.
A registered church is one that that has been approved and is governed by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Registering with the government offers the advantage of working openly, being legal, and relative safety from persecution. The spiritual quality of registered churches and pastors varies widely. Some are strongly Biblical, some are more political shams; some are restricted and monitored heavily, some left alone. Change can occur suddenly and unpredictably. Unquestionably, there are in fact many godly people in registered churches, registered seminaries and Bible schools.
The unregistered church are those often referred to as "house" or "family" churches, which have refused the restrictions found in the registered church, and are considered illegal. Unregistered churches have more spiritual freedom-if less political freedom. They have generally more spiritual vitality, and are more evangelistic. They also have more heresy. Failing or refusing to register leaves these churches open to the accusation of being unpatriotic, criminal, or subversive.