What's Next for China's House Churches?
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Feb 29
February 29, 2012
According to ChinaAid, there is an increasing amount of visible evidence that the Chinese house church movement is growing both in number and influence. Most house churches are small, with typically 30 to 40 worshippers, though some draw as many as 300 at one time. A vast majority of underground churches in China are small and fragmented, due to security purposes and attempts to avoid being infiltrated by the secret police, but in some of China's largest cities it is not uncommon to find church leaders who serve as many as 200 church units at once -- influential "mega-pastors" whose goals are to reach and train all believers. The major emphasis in China's house churches is the discipleship of believers and the training of the next generation of leaders -- proof in itself of the growth of Christianity all across the country. But "even as Christianity in China seems to be growing in strength, the key leaders see a time of uncertainty and possibly even a violent spike-up in crackdowns against the house churches in the very near future," says ChinaAid worker Brother Luke.