That growth stems from the people and the Chicoms have slapped it down by nationalizing the Catholic Church, separating it from the See of Peter. In so doing, those catholics who adhere to authentic teaching have been forced underground where they continue to suffer persecution and martyrdom.
As for the shift from the Middle East to Africa, here again, it not a loss of faith but persecution that has resulted in christians fleeing from their homelands. Insofar as Africa, here too, persecution prevails. Consider, for example, the situation with St. Bakhita. Bakhita's story of a slave who was forced to convert to Islam and later chose Christianity represents a conflict between Christianity and Islam. In May 1992 news of her beatification was banned by Khartoum which Pope John Paul II then personally visited only nine months later. On 10 February 1993, facing all risks, surrounded by an immense crowd in the huge Green Square of the capital of Sudan, he solemnly honored Bakhita on her own soil. "Rejoice, all of Africa! Bakhita has come back to you. The daughter of Sudan sold into slavery as a living piece of merchandise and yet still free. Free with the freedom of the saints."
As for Western Europe and America, freedom to worship also equals freedom not to do so. However, should the government outright ban worship, there would be a ground swell to restore it. We are beginning to see the effects of oppressive government on the French. Suddenly, they are waking from their reverie and reclaiming their christian legacy.
Yes, the growth in China is underground, it is in the ‘house churches’. That’s what scares the government. They can’t control it.
Persecution is a huge problem in the Middle East and Africa (Boko Haram in Nigeria for example), but we’re seeing Christian Africa start to fight back now, in places like CAR, where an Islamic minority seized power in a coup, and now the Christians are wanting their country back.
France is a very interesting case, and we’ll see where that one goes next election. It would appear Marine Le Pen is likely to make the presidential final there, and if she does that, I can see her winning it. While not a leader I agree with on many things, she is for returning to traditionalist ways. It’s alwayts the same story. They pass legislation they know is unpopular not through referendum, but in the places they can’t be assailed from. Here the courts, there the corrupt legislature stacked with socialists at an all time low approval rating. That’s how they mutilated marriage.