Christianity Explodes in China Due to 'Spiritual Crisis'

( [email protected] ) Sep 14, 2011 11:21 AM EDT

For many in China, Christianity has become the answer to the tribulations and challenges they face within the country.

Once, immense repression caused the Chinese to convert in droves. Now the BBC speculates that an epidemic of capitalism within the country is turning its people towards God.

Many of China’s Christians are young people who are building their careers and are finding that the corporate world can be a cold and cruel place.

One young Chinese professional told the BBC that their church has been an alternative to the insincerity of corporate networking.

"We have 50 young professionals in this church. Everyone is so busy working, you don't have time for socializing, and even if you are socializing, you are putting on a fake face,” the person said.

"But in church people feel warm, they feel welcome… they feel people really love them so they really want to join the community, a lot of people come for this."

Government statistics say that there are approximately 25 million Christians in China, 18 million Protestants and six million Catholics. However, independent organizations indicate that the figure is much more, and closer to 60 million.

Due to China’s vast population and huge scope, it is difficult to tell exactly how many Christians reside in the country; however, the BBC notes that there are more people in church in China on a Sunday than in the whole of Europe.

Due to the past Christianity has had within China, the government still attempts to heavily regulate worship within the country.

Government sanctioned churches only allow religious activity within the houses of worship, and churches must adhere to the slogan, “Love the country, love your religion.”

This however does not prevent Chinese Christians from expressing their faith.

BBC correspondent, Tim Gardam details witnessing five services on Easter morning in downtown Beijing, where the church was crowded with over 1,500 people in each service, and Sunday school services were spilling out into the street.

Still, many other Chinese Christians have risked creating their own “house churches,” independent from the government, where they attempt to worship more freely.

Many note what is being called a “spiritual crisis,” as the cause of China’s continual conversion to Christianity. Many are now falling back to faith, as China has become one of the most aggressive capitalistic societies in the world.

"I think it is very natural that many other people will not be satisfied... will seek some meaning for their lives so that when Christianity falls into their lives, they will seize it very tightly," Professor He Guanghu of Renmin University told the BBC.