Given the reality of Christianity blessing China, the country’s leaders would do well to give greater freedoms to their Christian churches. A recent study indicates that such freedoms would benefit the country as a whole, in real economic terms. Loosening the screws on Christians would help everyone.
That’s how the story is reported by Brian J. Grim in his article at First Things, “What Christianity Contributes To China’s Economic Rise.”
Grim, founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, highlights a recent study from a pair of Chinese academics, Qunwong Wang of the Institute of Statistics and Econometrics at Nankai University in Tianjim, and Xinyu Lin of the Renmin University of China in Beijing.
According to Wang and Lin, China’s noteworthy (and most observers would add, unlikely) economic growth owes much to Christianity. “Wang and Lin find that Christianity boosts China’s economic growth. Specifically, they find that robust growth occurs in areas of China where Christian congregations and institutions are prevalent.”
The fact is, the data shows that religion in general benefits an economy, at least in part because religious belief and exercise tend to gather people, and people, as Grim puts it, are the “real creators of economic success.” The exponential effect of human networking lends a powerful impact on local, regional and even national economies. But Christianity in particular “has the most significant effect on economic growth.”
This should be no surprise to Christ followers who believe that the biblical worldview comports with reality, that God established humans imago Dei to be, among other aspects, economic man. We were made for enterprise, to use our imagination and problem-solving skills to create wealth and human flourishing. That hard wiring can be submerged in a society only so long. Even China cannot forever suppress the emerging of God-given humans bringing shalom to their world.
Go here to read Grim’s remarkable story.
– Gary Brumbelow