Source: North County Times
On January 22, 2004 the North County Times ran an Associated Press article that reported, "China boasts one of the world's biggest and fastest-growing Christian movements, an often overlooked phenomenon. China had only a few million Christians when communists took power in 1949, but officials there privately put today's total at 25 million. The U.S. State Department's estimate is 52 million to 115 million. [David] Aikman [author of "Jesus in Beijing"] thinks the total could be 80 million or more, though 'no one knows for sure.' Protestants well outnumber Catholics, observers agree. If present rapid growth continues, Aikman says, possibly 20 percent to 30 percent of Chinese will be Christian within three decades. That would greatly alter Chinese society because of a vacuum in ideology and moral resources. Simply put, nobody believes in communism anymore. Aikman reports that Christians are turning up in positions of cultural influence, not only as democratic activists but intellectuals, artists, businessmen, and even military officers and party officials."