Can’t keep a good book down

In China it is known as the “sacred doctrine” and it has become one of the country’s bestselling books. Yet it has nothing to do with the thoughts of Chairman Mao and its teachings have been in conflict with the forces of Communism for generations.

Demand for the Bible is soaring in China, at a time when meteoric economic growth is testing the country’s allegiance to Communist doctrine. Today the 50 millionth Bible will roll off the presses of China’s only authorised publisher, Amity Printing, amid public fanfare and celebration….

Authorities at the officially approved Protestant and Catholic churches put the size of China’s Christian population at about 30 million. But that does not include the tens of millions more who worship in private at underground churches loyal to the Vatican or to various Protestant churches.

This sort of thing, which is also in evidence in countries from Nigeria to North Korea, makes a complete mockery of the idea that secularism is a growth stock. As with most stock markets, the public get the most excited about a stock when it has reached its peak.

History moves in waves and cycles. Dawkins’s misguided belief in historical progress towards secularism is perhaps the most fundamental example of his near-complete historical ignorance, to say nothing if his inability to do the demographic math. There are more Christians in atheist China than there are atheists in America. In two generations, there will be more Christians there than there are atheists in all of the lands formerly known as Christendom.