Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chinese Home Churches Growing

Christian Home Churches Gaining in China
BEIJING--Like she does each Sunday morning, Yao Liu takes a seat among the 30 others crammed in a tiny apartment in northwest Beijing to pray. Sunday services are held in the 500-square-foot, two-room flat where worshippers sit in cramped rows on folding stools. Most are current or former students of Peking University, known as the birthplace of democracy and science in China.

Like Liu, 33, there are an estimated 80 to 100 million Christian church-goers in China, according to Vatican Radio, which means they outnumber the Chinese Communist Party's 70 million members.


Many attend the home churches because of their convenience. There are not enough government-recognized churches for all those who wish to worship. Others go because they do not like the state-sanctioned churches; they argue that Jesus is the only true leader of church, not the government.


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