Thursday, June 8, 2023

Where the Church grows

From "A Church Grows in Brooklyn":
.... In China, my father’s family was converted by Anglican missionaries from England, while my mother’s family was converted by Methodist missionaries from the U.S. So before they ever came to America, they figured it must be a very religious nation. But when they arrived, they were surprised to see that a country built on freedom of religion was slowly becoming free of it. ....

If I had never strayed from Sunset Park and had no access to the internet, I wouldn’t have guessed that Christianity is supposedly in decline in America. Preachers both on the coasts and in our heartland express worries over a sea of gray hair in pews and lament that among younger generations, Christianity has a negative connotation.

But Christianity is thriving if you know where to look. People say immigrants do the jobs that native-born Americans don’t want to do. Going to church is one of them. Over two-thirds of today’s immigrants to the United States are Christians....

Christianity is booming in China, against all odds. While getting precise statistics on religion out of China is almost impossible, the number of Chinese Christians has grown from an estimated 6 million in the 1980s to anywhere from 38 million to 120 million today, even while the CCP tries to crack down on the spread of what it considers a Western influence.

Earlier this year, my father became a naturalized American citizen. When I asked him how his experience in the U.S. differs from China, he said, “In China, the people are not free to hear the Word, but they still hunger for it. In America, they are free to hear, yet they choose not to accept it.” (more)
Sheluyang Peng, "A Church Grows in Brooklyn," The Free Press, June 8, 2023.

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