Recently on a Charles Stanley TV program, a former POW lodged at the “Hanoi Hilton” along with Sen. John McCain gave his testimony of how God was with him in that horrendous situation. As Americans, this history colors how we most often see Asia — the place where we fought two major wars against people we don’t understand — Korea and Vietnam.
And today our newspaper editorials, late night comedy programs, and everyday conversation often turn toward China and the emergence of the Chinese on the world stage. As Americans we feel threatened. But even though a “hawk” has recently taken over the Communist Party apparatus, someday China will undoubtedly be counted as a Christian nation! The Church’s great foundation in China, laid by missionaries, and built upon by the blood of many unnamed Chinese martyrs through the communist era, is alive and well in the Middle Kingdom.
Church historians consider a nation ready for great impact from the Christian church when a population reaches 10%. Look at where China is today in 2013.
Prior to 1949, the People’s Republic of China, was seen as the world’s richest single mission field. This changed as the communists took over and in 1951 all foreign missionaries were expelled as agents of imperialism. As in most of the communist countries of Eastern Europe during the same time period, Christians were tolerated in China, but under strict control. Though churches might seem to be controlled by the government, the Holy Spirit is a wind. The wind cannot be controlled, and moves wherever it wills. This Wind affected China. Today there are ten times more Christians in China than when Mao Zedong’s forces took control in 1949.