China’s repression of Hong Kong has led to an explosion of growth for Chinese churches in the U.K. “One church in Manchester has multiplied from less than 200 attendees to 1,200 due to the recent influx of immigrants from Hong Kong,” wrote Isabel Ong in Christianity Today.
About 1 in 4 new arrivals from Hong Kong is a Christian, and many others are open to faith. The situation is both hopeful and challenging. As Alexander Chow, professor of theology at the University of Edinburgh observed, while second-generation Chinese immigrants tend to secularize, “migration stirs up questions of being disconnected and lost, and Christianity offers hope during this time.”
Passing faith to children in the secularized West is always a serious challenge for immigrants who are Christian. But, like early Christians in the Mediterranean or Irish missionaries re-evangelizing the post-Roman world, Christian newcomers have incredible potential for spiritual impact.
It’s an opportunity for churches, which are often the first stop for those in a new land.
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