I have long maintained that of all the countries I have visited in the world (not that many, but a good few), China is the most like the United States both in attitude and personality. The Chicago Tribune is carrying a good piece about the rise of Christianity in China. It’s a great, if a bit superficial perspective on the rise of this ideological movement in the face of rampant capitalism. It reminds me of exactly the sort of religious fervor that swept the United States when society was in the throes of an industrial revolution.
Even though I consider myself an atheist I think that Christianity will be more or less a good thing for China and the United States. There are many philosophically interesting aspects of the Christian faith, not least of which is the idea that God came to earth personally as Jesus Christ and subjected himself to man’s evil in order that God’s love for man and man’s inherent repugnance of it is all the more apparent (this is why I find Judaism and Islam, for all their strong points, ideologically inferior).
Christianity is a good thing for a communist society which is bereft of any moral compass now that the true powers of market capitalism have been unleashed. I think that hopefully it will cause the Chinese people to take a greater stock in their individual influence on society and the planet as a whole (something that Western democracies like the US have long stopped instilling in its youth either by the abandonment of any sort of ideological education or through the neglect of a civic responsibility curriculum in public schools).