Official Country Name:People’s Republic of China
Region:Northeast Asia
Government:Unitary One-Party Socialist Republic
Official Languages:Chinese, Mandarin
Religious Demographics:Non-religious ±44%, Chinese Religion ±28.5%, Buddhist ±12.5%, Christian ±7.9%, Evangelical ±5.7%, Ethnoreligionist ±4.55%, Muslim ±1.87%, Other ±0.3%


Number of Evangelicals
Cultural Bridges
Strategic Access
Religious Freedoms
Current Sending
Mobilization Potential

The Flower that Blooms in Adversity

September 22, 2023

Who would have imagined that the world’s largest evangelical Christian country would be a non-western, atheistic, Communist nation that actively persecutes members of all religions? Yet in God’s sovereignty, this is exactly what He orchestrated. China is considered one of the “cradles of civilization” because of its status as one of the oldest cultures in the world. Prior to 1949, despite a rich history of foreign missionaries to China, such as Hudson Taylor, Protestant Christians numbered fewer than 1 million.

All that changed in 1949 when Mao ZeDong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Viewing all religions as an existential threat to his Communist Party, missionaries were removed, pastors arrested, Bibles banned, and churches closed. As China was effectively cut off from the rest of the world, many assumed that very few, if any, Christians would remain.

Currently, China has very highly restricted religious freedom, with the fourth highest level of restrictions on the Mobilization Index. Despite this, the church has experienced tremendous growth in recent history, growing from 3 million to possibly more than 100 million in just forty-five years Source: Operation World DVD 2010. With such growth, China now has the largest evangelical population in the world! Chinese believers have thrived under pressure, finding a way to prosper in another form. Source: Link As China opened up in the early 1980s, the world was stunned to find that not only had Christianity survived after three decades of Communist rule, but it had thrived. God had orchestrated hardships and intense persecution to turn the hearts of tens of millions of Chinese to Jesus.

Though reports of the size of China’s church are notoriously difficult to verify, most estimate that there is an excess of 100 million evangelical Christians in China, but the Chinese church continues to face an intensifying wave of persecution and restrictions at the hands of a Communist government. In spite of these challenges, due to the size of its church, close proximity to the unreached, and its status as an economic powerhouse, we rank China’s mobilization potential as Very High.

In This Article
  • Number Of Evangelicals
  • Cultural Bridges
  • Strategic Access
  • Religious Freedoms
  • Prosperity
  • Current Sending
  • Mobilization Potential
  • Obstacles And Opportunities
  • Prayer And Praises
  • Ministry AreasChurches
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