The People's Republic of China marked its 50th anniversary on October 1, and in preparation for the occasion China's Communist Party did more than spruce up the streets of Beijing. It reasserted the authority of the party and made clear in old-style communist fashion that it intends to remain the sole actor in the political realm.
I was perilously close to becoming an agnostic—at least about certain statistics. Specifically, I really didn’t know the data on Christians in China, and for a while I was not sure if anyone did. Only now, perhaps, do we have the glimmerings of an answer to one of the most pressing questions in global religion: just how many Chinese Christians are there?
After giving the keynote address at a recent conference on “ecological civilization” attended by more than 60 scholars and government officials from China, theologian John Cobb joined conferees in a group photo. Then, in a spontaneous break in the schedule, Chinese participants took turns standing or sitting near Cobb while associates and friends snapped their pictures.
The Chinese government’s new head of religious affairs has downplayed the role of house churches during his first official visit to Hong Kong, saying they must be registered with the government for their own protection.
Wang Zuoan, the head of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, met Hong Kong Protestant leaders at a Lutheran church on March 27.
When the U.S. government imagines the global future, the term BRIC features prominently. The concept was created in 2001 when researchers at Goldman Sachs identified four critical emerging powers—Brazil, Russia, India and China. By 2050, claimed these experts, the BRIC powers would be challenging the U.S. for worldwide economic supremacy. U.S. officials have taken this forecast very seriously.
“It’s impossible to be neutral about China,” Rob Gifford writes. “Some foreigners hate it from the moment they set foot here. Others love it so much they put down roots and never go home.” But it may be getting harder to love China.