Skip to comments.Theologian Says China to Have Largest Christian Population
Posted on 12/02/2012 6:14:55 AM PST by marshmallow
Rome, Italy, Dec 1, 2012 / 04:03 pm (CNA).- During a recent book launch in Rome, a noted theologian said that China will be home to the majority of the world's Christians within the next two decades.
Interfaith dialogue is something that China, which will have the world's largest Christian population in 20 years, lives with every day, said Harvey Cox during the presentation at the city's Jesuit Gregorian University.
Cox presented the book Catholic Engagement with World Religions: A Comprehensive Study, in dialogue with its two editors on Nov. 30 with cardinal Karl Josef Becker, a German theologian of the Vatican's the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The editors include Ilaria Morali of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who also presented the book, and Cardinal Becker.
Cox, who teaches at the Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts said the new book will play an invaluable role in determining where we've been in the past, where we are now, and where we're headed.
There are two world phenomenons happening right now, he added. The first is that we can't recognize Christianity as a western religion anymore and the second is that countries with the fastest growing number of Christians don't have a Christian culture or traditions.
Ilaria Morali, also Harvard professor who teaches theology at the university and specializes in dialogue with Islam, noted that the starting point of the book was the experience we had in different contexts.
I've been seven times to Turkey where I met a Muslim professor and we discussed many topics concerning our religions, Morali said.
I told him about the need for young students to have an instrument to help them understand and deepen their theological knowledge and the Catholic theology's attitude toward non-Christian religions.
According to her, it's fundamental that people.....
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It’s very ironic that as other countries have dug themselves out of stagnation and despair by emulating what we used to be, while at the same time we emulate those who have failed.
Indeed, there is no guarantee that the USA will hold God’s favor.
I travel to (south) Vietnam often for work. I see Churches everywhere. I see them full of of people, even late at night, when families just gather to chat and kids to play. Visited one on a Sunday, and it was packed during service, with hundreds spilling out onto the courtyard outside.
What a surprise it was to me at first.
>>Its very ironic that as other countries have dug themselves out of stagnation and despair by emulating what we used to be, while at the same time we emulate those who have failed.
Americans worship idols and mammon. Even a large number (and probably a majority) of Americans in church this morning worship idols and mammon more than God. The Chinese person who sneaks to an underground prayer room before dawn and worships until after dark is a real Christian. We are just people who fit Christ into our schedules for an hour or two a week, as long as the music is good, the preaching makes sense, and the seats are comfortable. Chinese worship at the church they can find. We attend the church that fulfills our needs best.
>>Indeed, there is no guarantee that the USA will hold Gods favor.
I would say that we’ve already lost it. There will come a time when Chinese and Vietnamese missionaries will come to the US to win people back to Christ and we will sit in our lavish churches and tell them that we don’t need their help (especially if they want to evangelize after kick-off). Korea already has missionaries in the US.
I’m just wondering... by the term “Christian”, what does the author include?
Only Roman Catholics?
Those Christians who are not acknowledged by the official Chinese authorities who meet in house churches? ( TENS OF MILLIONS OF THEM )?
When the Chinese government counts “churches” and “Christians”, they are only counting those that register with the Chinese government. Last I saw, the number was something near 80 million.
However, there are so many churches that meet unofficially and illegally (because they don’t want their sermons monitored, edited or censored by the government ) that the number of Christians could easily be DOUBLE the official number.
I wish the author would be more specific...
RE: There will come a time when Chinese and Vietnamese missionaries will come to the US to win people back to Christ
When I was in France and England two years ago, I actually saw AFRICAN and KOREAN missionaries pastoring churches in these cities.
Speaking to one of them ( from Ghana ), he told me that he is bringing the gospel BACK to England where they “lost” it in Africa.
In fact, the Ghanian pastor made a joke... “The British took our lands and gave us Bibles instead... We got the better deal ( HA HA HA ).”
Talk about the irony...
>>Talk about the irony...
Its not irony. Its wonderful. God blessed America more than any nation since ancient Israel and we put him in a closet. He can’t be contained and has moved on to more fertile fields.
I spent a day with a lay pastor from a west African nation (but I forget which one) about a year ago. He opened my eyes to how far America has fallen, by just telling me about his country. I was ashamed for my nation and happy that God is still working in this world.
That doesn’t mean you aren’t right about there being a whole lot more Christians in China than anyone realizes. Local officials in China are notorious for over or under reporting things like the number of active Christians depending on what their superiors want to hear.
This is practically happening. Not long ago, our Methodist church had a pastor who was a Pakistani. He had earlier been prevented from getting a good job in Pakistan's state-run media because of his Christian faith. That church now has a Korean pastor. The church I go to also has a Korean pastor a theological seminary intern who is Korean.
Perhaps like Laodicia. But more likely we are Ephesus, Pergamum, or even Thyatira. If we’re lucky, we’re only Sardis. Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation are the most important chapters, yet most of my friends who can quote the judgements in order and speak at length about the rapture, pre-trib, post-trib, etc have never studied the two chapters that tell us what to do to be ready for whatever happens in the end.
And that is one of the great symptoms of our problem.
Ditto Pergamos. They fellowshipped evildoers which is exactly what we've done.
Thyatira maybe. They embraced Jezebel who taught others to fornicate, etc.
Sardis had a name that lived, but they were dead. That's appropriate.
Laodicea said they were rich, increased with goods and had need of nothing. But they didn't know they were destitute and miserable. That describes us to a 'T.'
Regardless, except for the faithful Christians left in America, it can't be very good for our future.