Dr. Ron Boyd-MacMillan, director of Strategic Research of Open Doors recently predicted a surge in Christianity in China as the population of believers may increase to 300 million by the year 2030, The Christian Post reports.
Boyd-MacMillan told the Express UK that the reason the Chinese Communist Party, under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, persecutes Christians is because they fear that the church will grow stronger in numbers.
“We think the evidence as to why the Chinese Church is so targeted, is that the leaders are scared of the size of the Church, and the growth of the Church,” he noted.
“And if it grows at the rate that it has done since 1980, and that’s about between 7 [percent] and 8 percent a year, then you’re looking at a group of people that will be 300 million strong, nearly by 2030,” Boyd-MacMillan continued.
“And, you know, the Chinese leadership, they really do long term planning. I mean, their economic plan goes to 2049, so this bothers them. Because I think if the Church continues to grow like that, then they’ll have to share power.”
Throughout 2020, China ramped up its crackdown on Christians despite the pandemic. Last month, Release International, an international Christian watchdog organization for persecuted Christians worldwide, predicted that China will be among other countries who will increase persecution against Christians in 2021.
Recently, Chinese-American pastor and author Francis Chan was forced to return to the U.S after Hong Kong rejected his visa. According to ChinaAid, Chan and his family moved from San Francisco to Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong last February to serve as a missionary there.
“Last week, after Hong Kong officials rejected our visas, we (Justin and Peter [my sons-in-law] and I) had to leave the country,” Chan said in a video to friends and pastors on Jan 5. “We are now back in the U.S and appealing the decision, however. We want to be in Hong Kong and hopefully, we can return there.”
“Before we had to leave Hong Kong, Justin, Peter, and I had seen the Lord plant three churches (house gatherings) with approximately 15-20 people attending each,” he continued. “We had each been leading one church in each of our homes, but then, suddenly we learned that we had to leave the country.”
He encouraged young leaders in his place to have faith because “the Holy Spirit will be working”.
“Although I believe God is having me go back to the US, I think this a great season for you to be pushed and stretched” Chan told them. “And so, I’m going to go with the power of the Spirit. We’ve got this. I’ve got more sources for equipping than the early church did. I have so many resources online, so much knowledge available. I have the scriptures right before me, a huge advantage.”
According to Open Doors USA, China is ranked number 17 on its list of countries where it is most difficult for Christians to live.