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beaver





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:28 am    Post subject: "China could become Christian nation in a decade" Reply with quote

I'm posting this because a lot of you don't know about the dynamic church in China. As a rising power, there is certainly a lot of negativity and antagonism that surrounds China, especially on conservative boards. Hopefully, the "China hate" will tone down a little.

The surge of Christianity in China since the 1970's has been remarkable and is gaining quite a bit of attention in the media. Christianity survived Mao's purging of religion, where 30 years ago there were only a few million Christians in China. Today, official estimates put this number at ~30 million; however, due to the popularity of house churches, estimates put this number closer to 70-130 million Christians in China. These numbers are stunning, considering how few Chinese Christians there were just 30 years ago.

In terms of government policy, the Communist party recently did a "study" on different religions and their benefits which is a progressive step forward. Although some level of persecution does occur (mainly among lower level officials) -- it really depends on who the official is. Sometimes Chinese Christians are persecuted, other times they are left alone. In fact, many middle class businessmen are converting to Christianity.

This is significant because the next generation of Chinese leaders could be Christian. This is a crucial time -- I believe that if Christianity expands in China, the USA will have an ally in the future. Also, China with its large population, has the potential to become a huge missionary-sending nation. South Korea for example, sends many missionaries around the world, second only to the United States.

While Christianity is weaning in the West, I truly believe the future of Christianity is in China and other parts of Asia. It is spreading like wildfire!


Here's one article:
http://www.christiantoday.com/...../23209.htm
There are actually many articles documenting this phenomenon... many of them are more detailed than the one above, just search Google.

Also, if you're interested in the tremendous rise of Christianity in Asia, check out:
http://www.1040movie.com
A well-known Korean-American pastor traveled over Asia (including China) and documented the significant rise of Christianity in many Asian countries.

Book: Jesus in Beijing
http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Be.....0895261286

Book: China's Christian Millions
http://www.amazon.com/Chinas-C.....pd_sim_b_2
potan





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If those figures are true that would mean China has more Christians than the U.S. That would make it the largest populations of Christians on earth.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

potan wrote:
If those figures are true that would mean China has more Christians than the U.S. That would make it the largest populations of Christians on earth.


It would not be hard, because it does have 1.3 billion people. I think this is good news, because with Christianity growing, so does freedoms. Once it become more dominant, China could very well become more liberalized and free.
Alan A.





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Location: Western Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: "China could become Christian nation in a decade&qu Reply with quote

beaver wrote:
I'm posting this because a lot of you don't know about the dynamic church in China. As a rising power, there is certainly a lot of negativity and antagonism that surrounds China, especially on conservative boards. Hopefully, the "China hate" will tone down a little.


Now wait a bloody minute... China is becoming the champion of capitalistic growth in the world and the Chinese are virtually bailing us out of recession. Then what would make them "hated" by the conservatives as you put it? I certainly don't hate them. Go China, go!, but I don't give a care about their religious practices. I don't get this one. Now because they're more Christian than we thought, that would make them nicer to you and the conservatives? I think you link "conservative" with "christan" way too much.
Habsrwfan





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most conservatives care about this little thing called "human rights", Alan.

As in actual human rights, like freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion.

China's record on respecting actual human rights is frankly abysmal. But I guess you don't care about actual human rights, eh?

And, frankly, China becoming more Christian is likely to change that. If you look at recent human history (the last hundred to two hundred years or so), predominantly Christian nations tend to respect basic human rights a lot more than predominantly atheist (or officially atheist) nations do.
potan





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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: "China could become Christian nation in a decade&qu Reply with quote

beaver wrote:
I'm posting this because a lot of you don't know about the dynamic church in China. As a rising power, there is certainly a lot of negativity and antagonism that surrounds China, especially on conservative boards. Hopefully, the "China hate" will tone down a little.

The surge of Christianity in China since the 1970's has been remarkable and is gaining quite a bit of attention in the media. Christianity survived Mao's purging of religion, where 30 years ago there were only a few million Christians in China. Today, official estimates put this number at ~30 million; however, due to the popularity of house churches, estimates put this number closer to 70-130 million Christians in China. These numbers are stunning, considering how few Chinese Christians there were just 30 years ago.

In terms of government policy, the Communist party recently did a "study" on different religions and their benefits which is a progressive step forward. Although some level of persecution does occur (mainly among lower level officials) -- it really depends on who the official is. Sometimes Chinese Christians are persecuted, other times they are left alone. In fact, many middle class businessmen are converting to Christianity.

This is significant because the next generation of Chinese leaders could be Christian. This is a crucial time -- I believe that if Christianity expands in China, the USA will have an ally in the future. Also, China with its large population, has the potential to become a huge missionary-sending nation. South Korea for example, sends many missionaries around the world, second only to the United States.

While Christianity is weaning in the West, I truly believe the future of Christianity is in China and other parts of Asia. It is spreading like wildfire!


Here's one article:
http://www.christiantoday.com/...../23209.htm
There are actually many articles documenting this phenomenon... many of them are more detailed than the one above, just search Google.

Also, if you're interested in the tremendous rise of Christianity in Asia, check out:
http://www.1040movie.com
A well-known Korean-American pastor traveled over Asia (including China) and documented the significant rise of Christianity in many Asian countries.

Book: Jesus in Beijing
http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Be.....0895261286

Book: China's Christian Millions
http://www.amazon.com/Chinas-C.....pd_sim_b_2


Asian Christians who immigrate to Canada or the U.S. tend to be staunchly conservative but I would dispute the assertion that the growth of Christianity in China will result in more pro-western policies or pro-market policies. Those things have nothing to do with Christianity. Besides, Christianity is no longer a western, European religion. Most Christians today are Africans, South American, and Asian while 60% of Swedes consider themselves to be atheist. Heck, even Hugo Chavez is a staunch Catholic but that doesn't make him any more pro-American.
Habsrwfan





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: "China could become Christian nation in a decade&am Reply with quote

potan wrote:
beaver wrote:
I'm posting this because a lot of you don't know about the dynamic church in China. As a rising power, there is certainly a lot of negativity and antagonism that surrounds China, especially on conservative boards. Hopefully, the "China hate" will tone down a little.

The surge of Christianity in China since the 1970's has been remarkable and is gaining quite a bit of attention in the media. Christianity survived Mao's purging of religion, where 30 years ago there were only a few million Christians in China. Today, official estimates put this number at ~30 million; however, due to the popularity of house churches, estimates put this number closer to 70-130 million Christians in China. These numbers are stunning, considering how few Chinese Christians there were just 30 years ago.

In terms of government policy, the Communist party recently did a "study" on different religions and their benefits which is a progressive step forward. Although some level of persecution does occur (mainly among lower level officials) -- it really depends on who the official is. Sometimes Chinese Christians are persecuted, other times they are left alone. In fact, many middle class businessmen are converting to Christianity.

This is significant because the next generation of Chinese leaders could be Christian. This is a crucial time -- I believe that if Christianity expands in China, the USA will have an ally in the future. Also, China with its large population, has the potential to become a huge missionary-sending nation. South Korea for example, sends many missionaries around the world, second only to the United States.

While Christianity is weaning in the West, I truly believe the future of Christianity is in China and other parts of Asia. It is spreading like wildfire!


Here's one article:
http://www.christiantoday.com/...../23209.htm
There are actually many articles documenting this phenomenon... many of them are more detailed than the one above, just search Google.

Also, if you're interested in the tremendous rise of Christianity in Asia, check out:
http://www.1040movie.com
A well-known Korean-American pastor traveled over Asia (including China) and documented the significant rise of Christianity in many Asian countries.

Book: Jesus in Beijing
http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Be.....0895261286

Book: China's Christian Millions
http://www.amazon.com/Chinas-C.....pd_sim_b_2


Asian Christians who immigrate to Canada or the U.S. tend to be staunchly conservative but I would dispute the assertion that the growth of Christianity in China will result in more pro-western policies or pro-market policies. Those things have nothing to do with Christianity. Besides, Christianity is no longer a western, European religion. Most Christians today are Africans, South American, and Asian while 60% of Swedes consider themselves to be atheist. Heck, even Hugo Chavez is a staunch Catholic but that doesn't make him any more pro-American.


I disagree.

I don't think that it's any coincidence that as nations becoming increasingly secular in their character they also tend to become increasingly socialistic or left-leaning in their governments.

Sweden is actually an excellent example of this, as Sweden is one of the most socialistic countries on the planet.

And just look at Britain over the past few decades. As the religious character of Britain has declined, so too has a national character that values real freedoms and economic liberty declined, even in roughly proportional degrees it would appear to me. Britain's private sphere is in decline as more and more of the British economy is dominated by the government.

And there is a good reason for this. In the absence of belief in God, the State becomes increasingly viewed as the final arbiter of all that is right and just in the world. In the absence of belief in God, people tend to elevate the State to a role comparable to that of God.


Christianity puts the final emphasis on the individual, and on the choices that the individual makes. In Christianity, the individual is responsible for his or her own choices, and will be held accountable for them. No excuses.

Statism puts the final emphasis on the collective, and on the collective good and on the effects that society has on people. In a statist line of thought, bad behavior on the part of an individual reflects badly on the state (or on "society"), and not on the individual. If the state was doing its job better, that individual wouldn't have behaved badly, is the idea at work here. And the state "doing its job better" almost always requires the state becoming larger, becoming ever more intrusive into the lives of the populace, and even micromanaging the affairs of its people.

This puts Christianity and Statism at odds with one another. Yes, you will get the odd Christian politician that loses sight of how Christianity emphasizes the rights and responsibilities of the individual, but generally speaking, this is how Christianity and Statism relate to one another.
Alan A.





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhhh, that good old debate. So religion=good people while no religion=bad people, doesn't it.

Especially if it's a Christian religion, then you multiply the good/bad points by 10. (With an exception to muslims: that's 20 points negative no matter what).

Be careful with the fallacious correlations. If X rises at the same rate as Y, it doesn't mean there's any link between the two. Saying that Christianity brings out the best in people is an enduring myth in some religious conservative circles.

As for the human rights in China: are we talking about our Western standards or theirs? Maybe we should stop patronizing other countries and telling them how they should manage their societies.

The Chinese are going to rule this planet within 50 years from now. Maybe we should start listening to them. They might be on to something.
Habsrwfan





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan A. wrote:
Ahhhh, that good old debate. So religion=good people while no religion=bad people, doesn't it.


Not necessarily.

But I do think that there is a tipping point where society becomes too secular, and hence begins to treat the state like God.


Quote:

Be careful with the fallacious correlations.


What's your argument for saying that they're "fallacious"?


Quote:
If X rises at the same rate as Y, it doesn't mean there's any link between the two.


Correlation does not prove causation, but correlation can suggest that causation may very well be there. In this case, I can see logical reasons for why a decline in a nation's religious character feeds into a growth in statist viewpoints.


Quote:
Saying that Christianity brings out the best in people is an enduring myth in some religious conservative circles.


It's not a myth. In my experience, it's true.


Quote:

As for the human rights in China: are we talking about our Western standards or theirs?


I'm talking about inalienable human rights, that transcends any nation's standards.

Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion; these are all inalienable human rights. China's record on all of them is very spotty at best.


Quote:
Maybe we should stop patronizing other countries and telling them how they should manage their societies.


Thanks for confirming that you don't value basic inalienable human rights.


Quote:


The Chinese are going to rule this planet within 50 years from now.


No, they're not.

The Chinese have severe demographic issues (caused, in large part, by their freedom-crushing one-child policy) that have been well-documented by Mark Steyn, as well as others.


Quote:
Maybe we should start listening to them. They might be on to something.


Here on Blogging Tories, you want a discussion forum that respects a diversity of opinions, and doesn't bow down to partisanship.

And yet, when it comes to China, you're all too eager to actually cheer on an autocratic society where there's no real opposition to the party in charge, and were a diversity of opinions is basically outlawed.

Oh, and you also think that we should listen to China and their autocratic, freedom-crushing ways.

I'd say more, but that inconsistency pretty much speaks for itself...
beaver





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Habsrwfan wrote:

The Chinese have severe demographic issues (caused, in large part, by their freedom-crushing one-child policy) that have been well-documented by Mark Steyn, as well as others.


Look at what is happening in Europe, for example – low birthrates that is bad for demographics. Look at the obesity crisis in the United States – also bad for their demographics as people die off earlier. It’s not only China who has demographic issues. China’s one-child policy is not ideal, and I’m not trying to defend it. However, it’s not a simple issue. They could either allow huge growth and have so many people that there wouldn’t be enough resources to feed them, or restrict growth and have demographic issues. Either way, it’s a catch-22. However, China is starting to lax this policy, which is a good sign.

Habsrwfan wrote:

Here on Blogging Tories, you want a discussion forum that respects a diversity of opinions, and doesn't bow down to partisanship.
And yet, when it comes to China, you're all too eager to actually cheer on an autocratic society where there's no real opposition to the party in charge, and were a diversity of opinions is basically outlawed.
Oh, and you also think that we should listen to China and their autocratic, freedom-crushing ways.
I'd say more, but that inconsistency pretty much speaks for itself...


China has a 5000 year-old history, none of which includes democracy of Western standards of human rights. However, the Chinese are innovators (paper, medicine, gunpowder, rockets, compass, etc.), so there is potential for some type of democratic system that will suit China’s unique conditions. One interesting sign of things to come is the fact that some local officials are actually being elected in the countryside. Also, with globalization and the benefits of capitalism, I personally believe that human rights will improve. Case in point: Chinese are now able to own property, run a business, travel around freely, even debate/discuss on internet forums, etc. It’s a good trend, especially with the surge of Christians there.

It is simplistic and wrong to dismiss China based on the fact that they are “autocratic.” Instead of being bashful, you should try to constructively promote democracy and human rights in China, instead of dismissing them altogether.

I also want to remind you that within China’s one party, there are various factions that struggle against one another. Thus, in that sense, there is at least some sort of opposition within the government that could be the basis for democracy in the future.
Dallas





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

China has a terrible human rights record, they still use torture and "disappearings" to control their people. I think this is just away for them to make the USA think they are less of a threat. Despite all the industrial espionage and spying on defence projects. Their just trying to appease the US inorder to cover up their plans. As we have seen before Obama is gullible.
potan





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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beaver wrote:
Habsrwfan wrote:

The Chinese have severe demographic issues (caused, in large part, by their freedom-crushing one-child policy) that have been well-documented by Mark Steyn, as well as others.


Look at what is happening in Europe, for example – low birthrates that is bad for demographics. Look at the obesity crisis in the United States – also bad for their demographics as people die off earlier. It’s not only China who has demographic issues. China’s one-child policy is not ideal, and I’m not trying to defend it. However, it’s not a simple issue. They could either allow huge growth and have so many people that there wouldn’t be enough resources to feed them, or restrict growth and have demographic issues. Either way, it’s a catch-22. However, China is starting to lax this policy, which is a good sign.

Habsrwfan wrote:

Here on Blogging Tories, you want a discussion forum that respects a diversity of opinions, and doesn't bow down to partisanship.
And yet, when it comes to China, you're all too eager to actually cheer on an autocratic society where there's no real opposition to the party in charge, and were a diversity of opinions is basically outlawed.
Oh, and you also think that we should listen to China and their autocratic, freedom-crushing ways.
I'd say more, but that inconsistency pretty much speaks for itself...


China has a 5000 year-old history, none of which includes democracy of Western standards of human rights. However, the Chinese are innovators (paper, medicine, gunpowder, rockets, compass, etc.), so there is potential for some type of democratic system that will suit China’s unique conditions. One interesting sign of things to come is the fact that some local officials are actually being elected in the countryside. Also, with globalization and the benefits of capitalism, I personally believe that human rights will improve. Case in point: Chinese are now able to own property, run a business, travel around freely, even debate/discuss on internet forums, etc. It’s a good trend, especially with the surge of Christians there.

It is simplistic and wrong to dismiss China based on the fact that they are “autocratic.” Instead of being bashful, you should try to constructively promote democracy and human rights in China, instead of dismissing them altogether.

I also want to remind you that within China’s one party, there are various factions that struggle against one another. Thus, in that sense, there is at least some sort of opposition within the government that could be the basis for democracy in the future.


I agree. India has a 9000 year old civilization and democracy was never a part of it. Back in the 1950s people were predicting that India's new democracy would fall apart and give way to old ethnic loyalties but it hasn't happened yet. I think democracy is possible in China but it won't happen anytime soon. I also don't think it will look anything like a Westminster democracy such as ours.
Alan A.





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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion and many valid points. But...

I would like to ask: who decides what "inalienable human rights" are? Habsrwfan suggests that freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion (of course...) are inalienable. Says who? Your god does, perhaps? Have you asked a sample of Chinese if they agree with that?

Again, we in the Western world tend to impose our values on other countries and refuse to even consider that theirs can be different and valid as well. Using the word "inalienable" to qualify the mystical "human rights" you so dearly believe in and blanket the whole universe with it is pretty condescending in my opinion.
Habsrwfan





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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beaver wrote:
Habsrwfan wrote:

The Chinese have severe demographic issues (caused, in large part, by their freedom-crushing one-child policy) that have been well-documented by Mark Steyn, as well as others.


Look at what is happening in Europe, for example – low birthrates that is bad for demographics. Look at the obesity crisis in the United States – also bad for their demographics as people die off earlier.


You're right.

This is why Steyn theorizes that there simply won't be a major global superpower (in the sense of what the USSR and USA were/are), able to spread its influence across the entire world, in 50 years or so.

I agree with him.


Quote:
China has a 5000 year-old history, none of which includes democracy of Western standards of human rights. However, the Chinese are innovators (paper, medicine, gunpowder, rockets, compass, etc.), so there is potential for some type of democratic system that will suit China’s unique conditions. One interesting sign of things to come is the fact that some local officials are actually being elected in the countryside. Also, with globalization and the benefits of capitalism, I personally believe that human rights will improve. Case in point: Chinese are now able to own property, run a business, travel around freely, even debate/discuss on internet forums, etc. It’s a good trend, especially with the surge of Christians there.

It is simplistic and wrong to dismiss China based on the fact that they are “autocratic.” Instead of being bashful, you should try to constructively promote democracy and human rights in China, instead of dismissing them altogether.


Look, it's great that China is moving in the right direction. But it's notable that such a movement occurs when they're very slowly becoming a bit more like the west, by switching from communism to capitalism, and by perhaps becoming slightly less autocratic (albeit at an excruciatingly slow pace).

It's also notable that China's main strength is sheer numbers, of course (which is why demographic issues are of particular concern for China). If the United States had the same population as China, nobody would be seriously talking about China eclipsing the US anytime soon, as the United States is far wealthier per capita than China is and has the more powerful military.

Simply having a large population doesn't mean that you have a good form of government, or properly embrace the values of individual rights and freedom enough.

If China continues to move in the right direction, great. But if not, we shouldn't become more like them simply because they're the most populous nation.
Habsrwfan





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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan A. wrote:
Interesting discussion and many valid points. But...

I would like to ask: who decides what "inalienable human rights" are?


Pretty much all 1st world nations agree upon what human rights are inalienable. They are found within the constitutions, bills of rights, and charters of rights and freedoms, of such nations.

The developed world is more or less in agreement on what the core inalienable rights are. They include the three that I mentioned specifically.

I'd like to know, Alan, why you seem to think that a person's place of birth should determine what rights they have. Is a Chinese person of less worth than a Canadian or an American? Why should a Chinese person not enjoy the basic rights that we do?

What sort of life is a life where you can't give voice to your beliefs and opinions, where you can't choose which people you will associate with, and where you can't choose to live a life in accordance with your beliefs and convictions, at least insofar as such living by one's convictions brings no grievous harm unto others?

The founding fathers of America are correct about inalienable human rights.

These rights are self-evident, because when you take away any of these rights, what you're left with is people in a place of involuntary servitude to some master, be that master the state or a slave-owner.

The value of freedom is hence self-evident.


Quote:
Again, we in the Western world tend to impose our values on other countries and refuse to even consider that theirs can be different and valid as well. Using the word "inalienable" to qualify the mystical "human rights" you so dearly believe in and blanket the whole universe with it is pretty condescending in my opinion.


You're completely wrong. What's actually very condescending is the argument against inalienable human rights, and I'll demonstrate why that is in the following paragraphs.

If human rights are not inalienable, if they are limited to only certain citizens of certain counties, then what you are effectively saying is that certain citizens of certain countries are of greater worth (i.e. enjoy more rights) than the citizens of other countries. In other words, a person's worth is determined, in large part, by nationality.

Is a Chinese person of less worth than a Canadian person simply because he or she was born in China instead of Canada? Does that make any sense at all to you, Alan?

It certainly is very condescending to the Chinese people.


What do you believe in, Alan? Do you value your freedom of speech, or would you be content to have somebody take it away from you and tell you that you can no longer ever question your government? Do you value your freedom of association, or would you rather be told that you can no longer associate with your fellow conservatives on this site or in real life? Do you value your freedom of religion, or would you rather live in Iran, where choosing to be anything other than a Muslim means that you're a 2nd class citizen?

Just like inalienable human rights are self-evident, so are the honest answers to those questions, I suspect.


You can get on with your avant garde cultural and moral relativism all you want, but when the rubber really hits the road on these issues, you know just like I do that cultural and moral relativism is a complete load of garbage.

A person living in a country that rightly recognizes inalienable human rights is obviously better off than a person that doesn't, all else being equal. And that's what is condescending; condescending to the person living in the human rights-crushing state that should be able to enjoy the same rights that you and I enjoy.
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