In China when Mao Zedong came to power in 1949, he brought with him his Chinese version of communism and he and his wife, Jiang Qing, resolved to make Christianity a thing of the past, “something that would only be read about in the history books.” This is one of the overarching purposes of Communism.
When Mao Zedong came to power, almost immediately he made it illegal for foreign Christian missionaries to continue their work in China. They had to leave China quickly with their families and whatever belongings they could carry.
I read of one Chinese pastor who gathered his congregation to say goodbye to a missionary who had worked tirelessly among them. Through tears they lovingly thanked the missionary who had become a dearly loved family member. Then the pastor addressed the congregation saying, “this is happening because WE DID NOT PRAY. We are now under communism because WE DID NOT PRAY. China is a country under communism because the Chinese church has NOT BEEN A PRAYING CHURCH.”
Cutting words, huh…!
Mao and his hateful communism (in the US today, we call this progressivism–a new name with some new methods) went on to use any means necessary to kill, steal, and destroy Christians; including propaganda, convenient use of political correctness, bullying, vicious lies and attacks against very good upstanding people, just because they were Christian.
People were painted as enemies of the State because they were Christian.
Mao cleverly rallied the very active and passionate youth, rallying college students across the nation. They did his dirty work for him, much of the time in ignorance, because youth don’t want a friend so much as they want a crowd. Any relic of the traditional Chinese way of life became an enemy. Mao gutted as much of education and history as he could. There were book burnings, historical monuments were destroyed, and mass hysteria was promoted and used by the government for its own end.
Many people were separated from families, imprisoned, murdered. Countless people killed.
What happened to the church during this time?
In 1949, the Chinese church was estimated at about 850,000 people. Today, surprisingly, under 60 years of communism, the Christian church has grown to well over 100 million people. It’s estimated by 2030 China will be the largest Christian nation in the world.
Today, Mao and his greedy wife are dead. They are a thing of the past. They are something only read about in history books. And it’s an unkind history because of their resolved unkindness to humanity, especially Christians. Persecution is still a great obstacle to the Christian church in China but it continues to grow…
Why the rapid church expansion?
The power of the Gospel is an unstoppable force that no human, nor human government can put down. Mao Zedong tried and failed. He joins a long list of people through history who tried. Even today, many people try but the church is unstoppable.
In China the growth and spread of local churches has been wildly underestimated by us here in America. It’s growth is so rapid it is outstripping anything ever before seen here in the US.
China is home to one of the fastest growing churches in the world and home to several Church Planting Movements. These are rapidly multiplying churches, spreading through entire people groups or populations (definition from David Garrison’s “Church Planting Movements”). People are being added to the church daily, miracles abound, and churches are multiplying at a phenomenal rate.
God is doing something really very special amongst His people in China.
In one province, the Henan province, no less than one quarter of the people are Christian. One in every four people. Henan is not a small province there are over 94 million people in the province… One in every four people in Henan are Christian.
In the very well known province of Shanghai almost one in every five people are Christian.
What kind of revival is this?
The harsh reality of the murderous communist leaders awoke the Chinese Christians to prayer and to the power God makes available to the people who pray. The Chinese Christians became a praying people and through prayer took hold of our ever-powerful all-knowing God, who says, If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land, 2 Chronicles 7:14 (AMP).
Prayer is the place we agree with God that there is nothing we can do on our own, it must be Him, not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, Zechariah 4:6.
God wants to do the same thing here in America: see His church rapidly multiplying and spreading across this nation with such gathering momentum that no man or government can stop it; and definitely not take the glory for it.
My prayer is that here in the America, where we are free, where Christianity is so easy, that we would wake up from our comfortable slumber and give ourselves to the vital necessity of prayer, seeking God for what He wants to do in the hearts of people in this nation.
I pray that God would stir our hearts to pray. That we would not get bored with prayer, nor give up quickly, nor make excuses as to the little of prayer in our lives but instead, turn to Jesus in prayer for His strength.
So much of Jesus’ earthly life was spent in prayer. If we are following Him, shouldn’t we be doing the same thing?