Consumerism and the disruptive effects of capitalism are driving a new interest in Christianity. No, not in the free market West— in communist China :

What must unsettle the authorities most is the reason why so many are turning to the churches.

I heard people talking again and again of a “spiritual crisis” in China - a phrase that has even been used by the Premier Wen Jiao Bao. The old have seen the old certainties of Marxism-Leninism transmute into the most visceral capitalist society on earth.

For the young, in the stampede to get rich, trust in institutions, between individuals, between the generations, is breaking down.

As one of China’s most eminent philosophers of religion - Professor He Guanghu, at Renmin University in Beijing put it to me: “The worship of Mammon . . . has become many people’s life purpose.

“I think it is very natural that many other people will not be satisfied . . . will seek some meaning for their lives so that when Christianity falls into their lives, they will seize it very tightly.”

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See also: Counting China’s Christians

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