Faithful flock to church in China - World - theage.com.au: "Chinese Christians outnumber members of the Communist Party.
The beauty salon near Beijing Zoo gives its customers more than they bargain for: not just facials and manicures, but the Word of the Lord.
Its owner, Xun Jinzhen, sees beauty salons as a good place to transform souls as well as bodies.
"I introduced 40 people to the church last year," he said.
Mr Xun, and millions of other Chinese Christian converts like him, may well be living proof that God moves in a mysterious way.
During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong's China turned on itself, torturing and killing hundreds of thousands of people. But the seeds were sown for an unexpected upsurge in Christianity.
In a social revolution that has prompted a heavy-handed response from the Government, religion is spreading through town and countryside and Chinese communities abroad.
Protestantism and Catholicism are among the approved faiths, the others being Buddhism, Taoism and Islam.
Buddhism and Taoism claim most worshippers but the state-sanctioned churches count up to 35 million followers. More significant are the underground or "house" churches, which are believed to have up to 100 million members, many more than are members of the Communist Party.
Visits to villages in rural provinces or to urban churches in Beijing, where even on weekdays the young and middle-aged gather to proclaim their faith, confirm the ease with which conversions can be won.
One woman told a gathering of hundreds at Kuanjie official protestant church in Beijing last week: "My brother's daughter had a virus which doctors had never seen before. She was on a ventilator and everyone had lost hope. But I prayed for her, and she recovered. Now her family follow Christ too."
The association of Christianity with healing powers may be embarrassing in the West, but in China it is one of conversion's driving forces, particularly in rural areas that lack health services."
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
This story is evidence of the amazing growth of the Church in China.