Atheists giving up

You cannot kill Christianity, you can only make it stronger:

The CAA estimates that more than 600 Christians were detained in 2006, down from about 2,000 the year before. But most of those arrested last year were church leaders. Moreover, “local officials closed and demolished more house churches in 2006 than 2005.” China also targeted congregations as cults. “After being classified as a cult, House churches in Langzhong city, Sichun province were severely persecuted in 2006.”

Even as Europe seems to slip further from its religious moorings, Christianity is growing rapidly elsewhere in the world, including in the PRC. The Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs estimates that there now are 130 million Christians in China, roughly 10 percent of the population.

The number of Christians in China is increasing despite sustained state repression. Bob Fu, president of the China Aid Association (CAA), notes that “the unprecedented growth of the Chinese church has happened under ceaseless persecution.”

The irony, of course, is that the best way to weaken Christianity is to create a state church, give it plenty of money and mandate attendance in its churches. In the long term, weak and lukewarm Christians are more deadly to the faith than the Neros of the world… temptation is harder to resist than persecution.