Friday, July 29, 2005

Christianity is China's new social revolution

Napoleon said China was a sleeping giant. He said when it awoke, the world would tremble. It is awakening ... to the Gospel of Christ. Christianity is China's new social revolution

A sampling ...

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.

... and ...

Zhang Rongliang, the head of the China for Christ Church, said to be the biggest with 10 million members, was arrested last December and remains in prison. Scores of pastors and followers have been held, along with Roman Catholics, including underground bishops.

Overseas groups such as the London-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide say Christians are regularly beaten and one was killed in police custody.

Lawyers say the authorities try not to charge Christians with religious offences, for fear of criticism from abroad.

Mr Xun, the beauty salon evangelist, has never been in trouble. But perhaps by coincidence, a week after he fired an anti-Christian employee, there was a police raid.

It turned out the salon's acupuncture service lacked a proper licence.

Mr Xun received a heavy fine, which he could not pay, and he was forced to hand over the running of the business to others.

He wonders whether it was acupuncture that upset the authorities, or the Gospel.