Thursday, April 15, 2004

China's Christian future? 

I remember not that long ago, in early 2001, reading a lot of stuff by those dreaded neo-cons (you know who you are) about China being the next big future threat to Western security, after the commies everywhere else have bitten the dust. S11 of course changed everything. The fact remains, however, that Iraq and the rest of the Middle East may come and go, but China is likely to continue to be an ever growing issue for Western policy-makers to face and deal with.

This material is not new, but I only very recently had a chance to read an article in "The American Spectator" (unfortunately not available on-line), adopted from David Aikman's new book "Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power". Aikman is a former "Time" magazine bureau chief in Beijing, so he knows what he's talking about. There are estimated to be currently between 80 and 90 million Christians (mostly Protestant) in China. In three decades there might be between 240 and 360 million - and they will be concentrated in the cities and among the country's elite. Chinese Christians tend to be more pro-Western, pro-American and pro-Israel than the rest of the population. What does it mean for international relations over the next few decades? Fascinating stuff, almost totally ignored by the mainstream media in the West.

Check out this interview with Aikman. Or this one. Or this piece.


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