[quote]Heavens, Asia’s going Christian
By Michael Vatikiotis, Southeast Asia, Mar 2, 2006
SINGAPORE - The official guide to churches and Christian organizations in Singapore runs to more than 390 pages. With names like God@work, Great Shepherd Assembly and City Impact, there are 44 registered churches from the US-based Assemblies of God alone in Singapore. A Christian from Myanmar, a Korean Christian, even a Thai Christian can find services in their own language - though for the most part Chinese is the language of the Christian faith here.
Singapore is one of the fastest-growing Christian communities in Asia, along with Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. In fact, Asia is projected to become one of the largest Christian populations in the world, on pace to eclipse Europe in the next 30 years. The US State Department estimates there could already be as many as 100 million Christians in China, even though the official tally of believers is below 50 million.
The US-led “war on terror” has focused worldwide concern on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism as a precursor to violent militancy. Moderate or secular behavior among Asia’s Muslims is considered the long-term antidote to religious fervor. But in the wider context encompassing Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, the trend in Asia is anything but moderate or secular. Across the region, charismatic sects are springing up and drawing young people to religious faith. And new Asian converts to Christianity are arguably outpacing the spread of Islam.
The new believers are often Asia’s upwardly mobile, although the dirt-poor and desperate still flock to Christianity’s promise of eternal salvation. Far from embracing materialist and consumer values and completely abandoning religion, middle-class Chinese residents of Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong all regularly flock to Pentecostal or charismatic churches."(excert from article)
atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_ … 2Ae03.html[/quote]