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China Set to Be 'Most Christian Nation' by 2030

09-08-2014
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China will be the "world's most Christian nation" in 15 years, according to a report from the London Sunday Telegraph.

"It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change," Fenggang Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, told the newspaper.

There are about 1.3 billion people living in the country, and in 2010, 58 million of them were Protestant Christians.

Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule, estimated that by 2025, the number of Christians will have skyrocketed to 160 million.

What accounts for the remarkable growth of Christianity in China? Gordon Chang, author and contributor at Forbes.com, answers this and more on April 25.

It's estimated China's total Christian population, including Catholics, will hit 247 million by 2030, passing the United States, Mexico, and Brazil as the largest Christian nation in the world.

Officially, the People's Republic of China is still an atheist country. The government allows official churches to meet, and there is a growing underground church movement that can't be contained.

"Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this. It's ironic - they didn't. They actually failed completely," Yang said, referring to Mao Zedong.

Mao was chairman of the Communist Party of China until his death in 1976.

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