Explosive growth has characterized the church for at least the past 30 years. About 100 million Christians live in China, but only 30 million are affiliated with the government-authorized Three-Self Patriotic Movement (the state church controlled by the Communist government). The remaining 70 million worship in unapproved house churches. Despite continual pressure and oppression, house church leaders refuse to compromise the Gospel. About 60 percent of the believers in China live in rural areas, and only a few house church leaders have formal theological training or access to Bible study materials.
Life for Christians:
Ten years ago, unregistered churches in China's "house church" movement enjoyed a measure of acceptance by the government. However, today things are much different. In February 2018, a new religious regulation led to increased government restrictions on unregistered churches. This has resulted in the forceful closure of hundreds of churches, the arrest or detainment of pastors and church members, and the prohibition of online sales of Bibles. If church leaders refuse to join the government-controlled church, false charges are filed against them. It is illegal to teach religion to anyone younger than 18 years of age.