Top 10 Christian News from 2011-2017: Growth of Christianity in China in the Past 7 Years

Gangwashi Church
Gangwashi Church (photo: CCD)

The past decade has seen not only rapid social and economic development in China, but also tremendous growth and changes to Christianity in China. 

In early 2018, Christian Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper, summarized the top 10 Christian news items from 2011 to 2017 to observe and reflect on what the Chinese church experienced with the remarkable changes in Chinese society and the times. 

Since 2011, Christian times, a news agency launched in 2010 to serve Chinese unregistered churches, chose the top 10 Christian news stories annually based on factors including views, keyword searches, shares, and prominence of articles.  

Top 10 Christian News in 2011

Top 10 Christian news in 2011
Top 10 Christian news in 2011


1.Chinese house church patriarchs Xie Moshan and Yang Xinfei passed away in June and July 2011. 

2. Beijing Shouwang Church, a house church, worshiped outdoors for 38 weeks, lasting from March to December.

3. Beijing Zion Church held the celebration to mark its 4th anniversary in May, witnessing the development and future mission of new house churches.

4. In July, Professor Liu Peng, a religious scholar, proposed to make laws for Chinese religions in order to explore the problems in house churches and the solutions.

5. The Gospel for China Conference was convened in Hong Kong in November, attracting 5000 people most of whom are from China's house churches.

6. In December, the international evangelism strategist Luis Bush visited China and had conversations with Chinese family church leaders.

7. The debate on whether Christian churches should be built in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, lasted for almost one year.

8. The sharing of anti-gay comments by Christian celebrity Lv Liping on her microblog generated the Internet controversies in June.

9. In June, the Christian involvement in singing patriotic songs stirred up a heated discussion.

10. The emergence of Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website, led to the popularity of microblogging that became a new tool for evangelization. 

Top 10 Christian News in 2012

Top 10 Christian news stories in 2012
Top 10 Christian news stories in 2012


1. The house church strengthened internal construction like church missions, group shepherding, and membership.

2. The year saw the growing number of returnee Christians, but ended up with the huge loss of them.

3. The unregistered church made further work in westward Muslim mission.

4. In June, the "Heavenly Song" music conference was hosted in Sydney, contributing to more than 1,000 conversions and dedication to be preachers.

5. In May, tens of thousands of people attended the Hong Kong "Homecoming Gathering" with the theme of "Kingdom Come".

6. Christian NBA player Jeremy Lin was well received among the Chinese Christian community.

7. In October, the ending theme song of the film Back to 1942 directed by Feng Xiaogang was adapted from Xiao Min's hymn Singing A Heavenly Song and the copyright royalty was paid.

8. With the wide-spread doomsday rumors, the "Eastern Lightning" or "Almighty God" cult became active on the occasion in December.

9. March 2012 marked the 30th anniversary of "Document 19" (the CPC's religious policy published in 1982) and Professor Liu Peng talked about the prospect of Christianity in China and legalizing religions.

10. Christmas became the best time for Chinese Christians to share the gospel with unbelievers.

Top 10 Christian News in 2013

Top 10 Christian news stories in 2013
Top 10 Christian news stories in 2013


1. In August, leaders of the Chinese house church movement, Samuel Lamb or Lin Xiangao and Miao Zhitong died on the same day.

2. Around one hundred Chinese leaders from the house church networks in mainland China signed the "Seoul Commitment" in the Asian Church Leader Forum conducted in Seoul in June.

3. The Asia Homecoming Gathering 2013 "Holy Array" was held in Hong Kong in July, attended by nearly 20,000 people.

4. Professor Liu Peng released a proposed draft for China's religious law in 2013 Religion and the Rule of Law Symposium," held in Beijing in July.

5. Confucian, New Left, Liberal, and Christian met at the Sixth Annual Forum of Chinese Theology convened in Oxford in August and came up with the "Oxford Consensus".

6.The "Business and Eternity 2013 Entrepreneurs Joint Meeting" was staged in Shenzhen in October.

7. With the rise of "Jesus Fashion", some Christian celebrities strove to win cultures for Christ.

8. The international forum on "Christianity and the Construction of a Harmonious Society" was opened in Beijing in November.

9. The Protestant Church Leaders Forum China-USA was held in Shanghai in November.

10. Christian singer Huang Qishan was awarded the title "People of the Year 2013" in December.

Top 10 Christian News in 2014

Top 10 Christian news stories in 2014
Top 10 Christian news stories in 2014


1. The cross removal campaign in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, lasted up to ten months.

2. In February, the corruption case of Rev. David Yonggi Cho, founder of South Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church, startled Chinese Christians.

3. The Heavenly Song 2014 Hong Kong Music Conference harvested about one thousand conversions among ten thousand participants in November.

4. In August, the church in Shenzhen held the 30th anniversary of the resumption of worship.

5. Two house churches in Foshan, Guangdong, were banned by the local authority for the alleged "illegal social organizations", in September.

6. In May, the murder that members of the Chinese cult "Almighty God" beat a woman to death had an indirect impact on Christianity in China.

7. The Kunming terror attack occurred in March and rampant crimes of ISIS in foreign countries led citizens to reflect upon religions and anti-terrorism.

8.  After the Fourth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth CPC Central Committee convened in October, the director of China's Religious Affairs Bureau talked about doing religious work in accordance with the law.

9. In November, Revival Conference 2014 Paris was held, expecting the Chinese church to promote European revival.

10. The success of Li Wenqi, a Christian talented girl, who reached the final of "The Voice", a TV singing competition, showed the power of her Christian faith and homeschooling.

Top 10 Christian News in 2015

Top 10 Christian news stories in 2015
Top 10 Christian news stories in 2015


1. Zhejiang province issued rules on religious structures in May, concerning the publicity of religion and the future church-state relations.

2. With the urbanization, Chinese Christianity faced transition and unveil what its responsibility was in society.

3. The declining rural church looked for ways to cope with challenges and rejuvenate.

4. Chinese Christians explored different paths toward Christian education.

5. The Asia "Homecoming Gathering" 2015 kicked off in Hong Kong in July.

6. Xinwei, the founder of Mephibosheth Village, an orphan asylum for adopting disabled children throughout China, died in July.

7. The first mobilization meeting of "Mission China 2030" was held in Hong Kong in September.

8. The Second European Spiritual Revival Gathering was held in Paris in October, looking forward to the unity and European revival.

9.As 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Samuel Pollard, Chinese Churches and society paid increasing attention to the British missionary.

10. Churches in China provided social service and care during the Christmas Season, an attempt to walk out from themselves and to integrate into society.

Top 10 Christian News in 2016

Top 10 Christian news stories in 2016
Top 10 Christian news stories in 2016


1. In January, Christians in mainland China prayed earnestly for Rev. Kou Shaoen diagnosed with lymphoma.

2. China's house church leader Li Tian'en breathed his last on May 3 in Shanghai.

3. Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers (The GProCongress) was held in Bangkok in June, attended by more than 3000 local pastors and ministers from 112 countries all over the world.

4. In September, Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council of PRC sought public advices for the revised draft of regulations on religious affairs.

5. In September, the rural church in Central Plains was confronted with dilemmas and explorations under the wave of urbanization.

6. The Chinese church generated many considerations and discussions on ecumenical evangelism in September.

7. In December, Luo Er's crowdfunding issue for saving his sick daughter with and the Christian online journal with the title "Jesus, Stop Forcing Me to be Your Enemy" aroused heated debates among the Chinese Christian community.

8. In December, Christians in China took an active part in AIDS prevention alongside non-Christians.

9. Canaan Xiu publicly admitted his lie that he evangelized former Premier Wen Jiabao in his confession letter published in December.

10. In December, Mel Gibson's latest film "Hacksaw Ridge" triggered controversies among Chinese Christians.

Top 10 Christian News in 2017

Top 10 Christian news stories in 2017
Top 10 Christian news stories in 2017


1. The Chinese Christian community celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation through different forms like conferences and symposiums.

2. China issued revised regulations on religious affairs in September which will come into effect on Feb. 1, 2018.

3. Two Chinese preachers were killed by ISIS in Pakistan in June.

4. Rumors and false testimonies went viral on Christian WeMedia, giving rise to an upsurge in a crackdown on fake information.

5. Christians wrote articles to disclose domestic violence against Christian women and even similar cases in the church, appealing relevant church teachings and more work to be done.

6. How the church nurtured the post-1990s generation was a challenge.

7.  Care for local pastors and preachers became a topic of focus.

8. In September, Christian celebrity Huang Kuo Lun's concert in the National Stadium (or Bird's Nest) sparked different positions among Chinese Christians.

9. In November, Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital became a fashionable topic among Chinese Christians.

10. In December, public topics like a fire that killed 19 people in Beijing, children abuse in a Beijing kindergarten, and a Chinese student murdered in Japan by her roommate's ex-boyfriend caused a buzz among Chinese Christians.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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