Baptist minister and Christian writer, Mark Tronson was recently informed that Chinese Government officials are encouraging Christian businessmen in their beliefs as they are known for not cheating the Government. They pay their taxes and fees, and stay clear of risky endeavours.
But it's not all good news, Mark Tronson also receives via the Christian Press wires and numerous media sources, story after story of terrible religious persecution. Many Pastors are being held up on false charges by over-zealous officials, jealous competitors and anti Christian community leaders. Unfortunately, the courts uphold these terrible and improbable charges.
Mark believes that the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be remembered, not for sport, but for the point in time where China began to consider the hallmarks of Christianity as being beneficial to their nation and national identity.
But, there are many who disagree, claiming that Christianity is only a very, very tiny part of the whole of what is China – and will remain so for the foreseeable future. China is a country hugely populated with people entrenched in ancient cultural practices almost as old as the Hebrew religion. Many Chinese people living abroad still uphold these customs although they have never been to China.
Nonetheless, China is fast becoming a world economic powerhouse, and the world economists affirm that, although hurt by the Global Economic Crisis, China is also in the midst of huge sociological changes.
This is a country that desperately needs energy. This need will keep many nations' including Australia's, economy afloat as long as they can sell these resources, and until the time when China can harvest its own. However, an over-reliance on one giant economy brings with it dangers. If China economically sneezes, then the rest of the world will go into a coughing fit.
Now, as revealed on the ABC Television's 4Corners program "Chinese Whispers' (19 April 2010), cyber space intrigues coming out of China is showing a very aggressive and frightening side of China which has many international business leaders on tender hooks.
In Mark Tronson's view, in spite of this, China will slowly but surely see remarkable Christian growth for two basic reasons:
1. The Chinese are a very industrious people and Chinese Christians apply the same unyielding dynamic into their faith for the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Essentially the traditional Chinese economy functions with a 'grass roots' philosophy similar to that of Christianity. He can foresee, therefore, that this will lead to a natural 'home grown evangelical church' and may bring a greater emphasis on freedom of conscience.