China is experiencing a boom in the growth of the underground Christian church, which seems to not so underground anymore. Despite all of the persecution against Chinese Christians from the government, changes in society and their attitudes toward Islam are beginning to change. These are just a few of the current headlines:
BEIJING (AP) — Students and civil servants in China’s Muslim northwest, where Beijing is enforcing a security crackdown following deadly unrest, have been ordered to avoid taking part in traditional fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Statements posted in the past several days on websites of schools, government agencies and local party organizations in the Xinjiang region said the ban was aimed at protecting students’ wellbeing and preventing use of schools and government offices to promote religion. Statements on the websites of local party organizations said members of the officially atheist ruling party also should avoid fasting.
“No teacher can participate in religious activities, instill religious thoughts in students or coerce students into religious activities,” said a statement on the website of the No. 3 Grade School in Ruoqiang County in Xinjiang.
Similar bans have been imposed in the past on fasting for Ramadan, which began at sundown Saturday. But this year is unusually sensitive because Xinjiang is under tight security following attacks that the government blames on Muslim extremists with foreign terrorist ties.
(Reuters) – China executed 13 people on Monday for “terrorist attacks” in the far western region of Xinjiang, state media said, while another three were sentenced to death for a lethal attack at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
“The 13 criminals had planned violent terrorist attacks and ruthlessly killed police officers, government officials and civilians, which took innocent lives, caused huge property losses and seriously endangered public security,” the official news agency Xinhua said.
Xinjiang is the traditional home of Muslim Uighurs who speak a Turkic language, and China has blamed previous attacks on Islamist separatists it says seek to establish an independent state there called East Turkestan.
For a number of years, it seems that the Chinese Government has started “come around” in regards to how the Gospel can positively shape society. At the very same time, the Government, particularly with CASS (The Chinese Academy for Social Science) and SARA (State Administration for Religious Affairs) see Islam as the main threat to peace and harmony within the Chinese society.
So, you will see the following:
- China is the largest producer and printer of Bibles in the world
- The reach of Christianity in China is tremendous, with an estimated 300 million registered and underground believers
- There are literally thousands of Communist Party members who are now Christians
- Bible studies are encouraged during lunch breaks at many factories throughout China
- Homosexuality is legal, but remains hidden
- China is beginning to change their policy on abortion and “one child” penalties
- The faith in China in steroidal; forged in the cauldron of persecution
At the same time you see:
- The discouragement of Islam and Muslim practice
- The banning of Muslim observances
- Quick and intense military actions against Muslim uprisings
- SARA believes that countering Islam with Christianity in Western regions may be the best long term solution to the Muslim problem
Something is happening now with the entire power shift to the east. As the Gospel is embraced and common sense and pragmatism for dealing with Islam in a growing economic society is is practiced, China’s influence and power grows. America is headed one direction, China the other. It is up to us to take a stand and reverse our own destiny.