Christians from China and other countries attend a 2015 conference in Hong Kong celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. (China Partnership)

Christians from China and other countries attend a 2015 conference in Hong Kong celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. (China Partnership)

Pastor Wang Yi, left, with his wife, Jiang Rong, at their home in Chengdu, China in 2016 (ChinaAid via AP)

Pastor Wang Yi, left, with his wife, Jiang Rong, at their home in Chengdu, China in 2016 (ChinaAid via AP)

Early Rain Covenant Church members worship outside in December 2018 after police shut down services at the church building. Some members were arrested. (Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church/Facebook)

Early Rain Covenant Church members worship outside in December 2018 after police shut down services at the church building. Some members were arrested. (Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church/Facebook)

An elderly Chinese woman walks past an authorized church in Beijing, China, in 2004. (AP/Str)

An elderly Chinese woman walks past an authorized church in Beijing, China, in 2004. (AP/Str)

Hannah Nation studies the Chinese church with China Partnership and the Center for House Church Theology. (hannahnation.com)

Hannah Nation studies the Chinese church with China Partnership and the Center for House Church Theology. (hannahnation.com)

Growing Chinese Church

Posted: May 1, 2022

What do you know about China? You might have heard bad news about what the government does there. Censorship. Persecution of some people. But there’s good news too. It’s about the Good News! God is growing His church in China—a LOT.

Hannah Nation studies the Chinese church. Around 60 years ago, there were fewer than one million Christians in China, she says. That’s according to the World Christian Encyclopedia. Today, there are likely between 70 and 80 million.

The Chinese government wants to be in charge of all religion. It has an official state church. But Christians also started their own churches called “house churches.” Those are not registered with the government.

Some house churches, like Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, have been greatly oppressed. Church leaders may get put in jail. But rather than fight, Chinese Christians try to respond differently. They repent for their own sins. They treat others—even jailers—with kindness. They share Christ—not just with their neighbors. They even tell their captors and other prisoners how good Jesus is!

Wang Yi is Early Rain’s pastor. He has been in prison since 2018. Mr. Wang and his wife wrote a letter to their church 12 days before they were arrested. “If he is imprisoned, he will entrust everything to the Lord and start his personal prison ministry. If he is free, he will be even bolder in preaching . . .” the letter said.

The Chinese church is one of the fastest growing in the world. “Look at what God is doing globally!” Mrs. Nation says—especially in China.

Why? God is spreading His kingdom through the whole world, just as He said He would. This good news has eternal consequences.