Imagine if Filipino Christians were under Chinese government rule
Although there are legitimate concerns on the sudden increase of Chinese residents in the Philippines, mainland Chinese Christians remain our brothers in Christ and need everyone’s prayer. A recent religious regulation in China resulted in the shutdown of prayer meetings, Bible studies, and destruction of churches. Churches need a permit to operate and all sermons must be preapproved. Some were even asked to renounce Jesus (China Aid). Ironically, China could be a nation with the highest population of Believers in the world despite the persecution. (Bible Society)
China was a powerful ancient civilization but collapsed at the turn of the 19th century because of the weak monarchy. Westerners took advantage of her and anything from the west was literally burned to ashes during the cultural revolution. Christianity is seen as a western ideological threat (Xi Jinping) and authorities want full control to prevent it from being too influential. Consequently, the government plans to “retranslate and annotate” the Holy Bible with socialism as a basic tenet. (Guardian)
In 2018, China’s rank jumped from a low rank of 43rd to 27th in the most persecuted Christian country. Interestingly, China and neighboring Nepal are the fastest growing Christian population in the world. Despite a massive crackdown that sharply increased in 2019, Christians in China remains strong and collective. From 0.1% Christian population in the 1970’s, China is expected to have 10.6% Christian population by 2020.
What Filipino Christian “activists” should consider
In the Philippines, Catholic priests and bishops openly condemned the abuses of the Duterte government. Evangelical Christians joined the bandwagon. Many ranted online while some church leaders proudly showed their political leaning, in stark contrast to Chinese believers.
Catholic church faces an ominous decline and a recent SWS survey showed church attendance is declining in the Philippines. The Catholic’s intervention in political matters is adding to a long list of “turning offs” among young people. As a result, President Duterte called the Catholic God “stupid,” in retaliation to what he sees as the “hypocrisy” of the church involved in sexual and corruption scandals. Unfortunately, it is not only the Vatican who is plagued with these scandals that are turning off unbelievers.
What Christian Activists can learn from Chinese Believers:
- Chinese Christians submit to authority, despite persecution.
- They do not malign or shame leaders, despite brutality.
- They pray intentionally that God will change the heart of their leaders.
- Church leaders do not show political leanings.
- They focus on evangelism and leave political change to God.
They focus on evangelism
Do you mock your leaders?
Fight the real political enemy of every Filipino home.