Religion is prospering in China, despite measures to regulate foreign religious organizations.
“Christianity is growing at exponential rates in China and there are more believers than ever now,” stated the International Christian Concern, a group which reports religious persecution in China, according to The Christian Post.
Journalist Ian Johnson supports this in his recent documentary, The Souls of China, according to Deseret News.
“Across China, hundreds of temples, mosques, and churches open each year, attracting millions of new worshippers,” Johnson told Deseret News. “Faith and values are returning to the center of a national discussion over how to organize Chinese life.”
This comes in the wake of a pro-atheist video on social media. “What if Atheism is a Religion?” was released in May on the Chinese social network Weibo by the Communist Youth League, according to The Christian Post.
In the video, a man encounters a group of white-clad atheists, and the rest of the video consists of the atheists teaching the man about their religion, according to The Diplomat.
“The fact that the video portrays atheism as a religion in itself could be a sign that China’s government sees it is losing the battle against religion and may represent a new approach to counteracting Christianity’s growth,” said the ICC to The Christian Post.
This theory is supported by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an organization that files annual reports on global religious persecution.
The Chinese government sanctioned the mass destruction of religious items such as crosses in 2016, according to the USCIRF report.
“The top leadership is very, increasingly worried about the rapid growth of Christian faith and their public presence, and their social influence,” Bob Fu of China Aid told The Christian Post. “It is a political fear for the Communist Party, as the number of Christians in the country far outnumbers the members of the Party.”