Sunday, 23 September 2007

Will Christianity Help China?

I've stumbled across Bibles for China. If you're wondering why there are so many Chinese Christians around, remember that China has a huge population and that Christian missionaries are trying to tap into emerging markets. According to Bibles for China, the cost of the paper used in one bible is $1, which means that if you donate $20 to the American Bible Society you will provide bibles for 20 Chinese people. The website claims that the Chinese are "hungry" for bibles.

Of course, will spreading Christianity in China help them? Many agree that the Chinese people are oppressed by the Communist leaders, but the bible's teaching that everyone must submit themselves to the authorities means that Chinese people should not even fight Communism. One of my friends believes that giving bibles to China will help their economy grow more. Why would the Chinese want that? The Chinese Central Bank is trying to slow down growth because of fears the economy is overheating. Furthermore, how do Christian values promote economic growth? Wouldn't libertarian values do a better job? Christian values teaches that you should give money to others and Matthew's gospel says you should not worry about worldly possessions but instead focus on spiritual wealth. On the other hand, philosophies like Objectivism teach that greed and selfishness are good. Of course, does greed help the economy?

Either way, 60 per cent of China is atheist while probably 80 per cent of Americans are Christians, and these two countries will be the two major superpowers of the 21st Century, so rising Christianity in China might help create compatibility in moral values between the two superpowers. But what if atheism is rising in America faster than Christianity is rising in China? That will only speed up compatibility in moral values between the two superpowers. China is highly regulated. Sinful things like pornography is banned on the Internet by Chinese officials. On the other hand, pornography is rife in America. American evangelist Ted Haggard who spent his whole life going on about the evils of homosexuality was caught having sex with a gay prostitute. News from China is not easily obtained, so citing stories here and there is not wise because of availability bias.

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