Anyone who has attempted to study trends in China can attest — it is simultaneously an enchanting and confounding nation.
Among the many notable shifts in recent years:
- 205 million people have moved to cities between 2000 and 2010, and an estimated 500 million more will move in the next 50 years. This is the greatest human migration in history.
- By some estimates, Chinese Christians already number more than 100 million, and many religion observers see China soon becoming the world’s largest Christian nation. In today’s China, religious persecution and religious freedom both exist in a sometimes unpredictable interplay.
- China today is home to the largest population of internet users on the planet — more than a half billion. Despite the “Great Firewall of China,” the internet has created a new social space in which Chinese can organize around issues of common concern.
- Because of the one-child policy, China’s population is rapidly aging, resulting in a plateau — and soon decline — of China’s working population. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of senior citizens are wondering who will support them in their later years.
China is changing in dramatic ways. This much is unmistakable.
As both the Chinese church and the global church grapple with how to engage such a dynamic environment with the hope of the gospel, a timely, new resource has been published by ChinaSource, one of our trusted ministry partners.
A free e-book titled, China’s Next Generation: New China, New Church, New World, can be downloaded here.
The book concludes with a helpful list of practical suggestions. It is great tool for anyone hoping to better understand and engage with the fascinating and perplexing social and religious landscape of China.
RELEVANT GLOBAL TRENDS
Further Reading on China…
The Economist: China’s urban dreams, and the regional reality
This white paper examines China’s urbanization trends from the perspective of the country’s provinces, its highest-‐level administrative division, and their prefecture-‐level cities.
ChinaSource: China—The Most Christian Nation? Three Comments and a Story
First of all, it’s important to remember that, since China begins with 1.35 billion people, it will almost always win every straight numbers game.
The Economist: Enter the Chinese NGO
A vast array of new non-‐governmental organizations are trying to meet both middle-‐class aspirations to participate and also society’s need for services.