The War for China’s Soul

August 24, 2006

A friend who plans to travel to China in October asked which books he should read in preparation for his visit. I recommended these three:
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. A beautifully written, eye-opening novel about an American businessman in China whose life is changed by his encounter with Christians from the underground church.
Jesus in Beijing by David Aikman. The most complete survey of the current state of the Christian movement in China.
The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun. The dramatic story of one of China’s house church leaders.
David Aikman writes an encouraging article in Christianity Today about the meeting President Bush had in May at the White House with three leaders of the house church movement.
Here are two recent articles about a the crackdown on house churches in China:
China Puts New Curbs on Churches
The War for China’s Soul
The second article ends on this hopeful note:

In the long run, though, government attempts to circumscribe how people practice their faith seem unlikely to succeed–and could well spark more unrest. It’s telling that even in the face of such crackdowns, some Chinese Christians say they are confident that they will eventually win the freedom to practice their faith as they choose. Brother Chow (not his real name) is one. He is every inch the model of the modern Chinese Christian, a preacher who doubles as a businessman. Despite his pressed jeans, polo shirt and fancy mobile phone, he professes to believe in a deep, ancient faith, one that he says has carried many a Christian through persecution. “Why don’t I think it will be a problem? Because as time goes on, the government will get to know the Christian spirit and realize that God exists.” He smiles with the secret knowledge of a true believer. “And then,” he says, “they will become Christians too.”

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