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Friday, November 14, 2014

THE GALLI REPORT - Friday, November 14, 2014

The Galli Report newsletter

Friday, November 14, 2014

This week's long read contains much of what we've already reported in Christianity Today. And yet there are enough new quotes, stats, and stories that made it compelling to me. For example:
There are now about 100 million Christians in the world's most populous nation, eclipsing the 86.7 million-strong membership of the ruling Communist party. According to Western intellectual tradition, modernity is supposed to bring secularization but in modern Communist China it has been accompanied by an extraordinary rise of religions formerly banned as "opiates of the masses."
Also, while I had read about the demolition of the Protestant cathedral on the outskirts of the coastal Chinese city of Wenzhou in April, for some reason I'd missed seeing the startling before and after pictures of it.

I'll admit to being betwixt and between the issue of censorship. On the one hand, it feels like a dirty word and a repressive idea. That's what Communists and Nazis do. On the other hand, the moral person in me wants censorship in at least a few areas, like pornography. This essay doesn't solve the dilemma, but it gave me more pause for thought.

Or better, inside the decision to open the wall. This story describes how the opening of the wall 25 years ago was in many ways the personal decision of a middle-ranking officer who was a dedicated Communist at the time.

There is an ongoing controversy about how exactly to befriend sinners of the most notorious kind. The question is usually provocatively posed as "Would Jesus Hang Out in a Strip Club?" Here is my take on the topic, as published in the latest issue of The Behemoth.

Grace and peace,

Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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