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Influential Chinese Economist Zhao Xiao: World’s Biggest Church is in China

Jan 12, 2012 08:59 AM EST

Influential Chinese economist Zhao Xiao recently reported that the biggest church in the world is in China rather than what’s commonly thought to be Rev. Yonggi Cho's Full Gospel Church in South Korea.

China is undergoing a transformative change as a result of the cross, where in some of its areas the churches are greatly revived, number of believers has surpassed half of the population, said Zhao, founder and chairman of Beijing-registered Cypress Leadership Institute, at a seminar hosted by Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in Southern California.

Although Yonggi Cho’s church comprises of 800,000 members and seats at the top among the global Christian churches, but after careful examination, Zhao said that the truth is that the largest church is in China.

There is a church in China that comprises of 100,000 congregations, which each congregation consists of an average of 50 people and the total combined figure surpasses five million – a figure that is five to six times that of Full Gospel Church. Moreover, that church in China is concerned about missions and has sent out over 100 missionaries overseas.

Although the continuous growth of Christians in China is obvious, the believers are lacking in quality and strength, and their ministries must try to improve continuously. In this aspect, Zhao encourages the church in China to learn more from the Christian churches in the neighboring country South Korea.

Zhao shared his experiences in visiting some of the famous Korean churches, where he was deeply moved by their passionate prayers and dedication to missions. Many Korean churches begin their day at 4-5am. There was one time that he woke up at 5 am to participate in the prayer meeting, and to his surprise the church was already crowded with people that it was hard to find a seat by the time that he arrived.

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Furthermore, Zhao said that many Korean churches would begin their overseas mission just one year after their churches’ founding; Korean churches use overseas mission as an objective to stimulate the local church growth. The most famous example is Korea’s Onnuri Church, whose vision is to become a church of mission, and one of their objectives is to have one in every three families to go on overseas mission. Their future goal is to send 2,000 missionaries abroad.

Zhao emphasized that China’s experiences in the change from the cross is beneficial towards ensuring the country flourishes and the people live in peace, building a harmonious society, and bringing an abundant blessings to God’s kingdom.

Zhao first gained attention for arguing that China’s economy would benefit from the spread of Christianity. In 2002, he published a paper titled “Market Economies With Churches and Market Economies Without Churches”, which argued that the key to America’s commercial success was its churches.

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