A large number of Chinese students who converted to Christianity while studying abroad are leaving their faith after returning to China because of the difficulty in adjusting to their home country's religious environment.
The number of Chinese students who have studied in
English-speaking countries has been increasing since 2010, and tens of
thousands have embraced the Christian faith while living abroad, the
Christian Daily website reported Feb. 2.
staff who have worked with them in the United States say around 80
percent of these converts gradually stop attending church services after
going back to China.
Wu Yutong experienced some difficulties
finding a church in Shanghai similar to the one she attended back in
London, where she converted to Christianity. She kept on moving from
church to church because she found Christian teachings in China
incongruent with her own faith.
Like Wu, many other Christian
converts find that there is something amiss in churches in China.
Because the state monitors religious groups closely, local believers
have learned to act cautious and defensive toward outsiders.
Aid recently released a summary of religious persecutions in China last
year. According to the report, 2016 ushered in major changes in the
country's religious environment after President Xi Jinping ordered
religions to comply with the government's agenda.
To prepare for
the implementation of China's Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs,
house churches have been targeted, forcing them to register under the
state-run Three-Self Patriotic Movement, one of the official Christian
organizations run by the Communist Party.
Authorities have also enacted
measures against these unregistered churches just to push them into