"A spectre is haunting Communism. It is the spectre of churches without buildings."You'll want to read the entire article.
If there were a Christian Karl Marx today, his Manifesto of Third World Christianity could begin with these words.
In 1973, in his last years, Mao's persecution had reduced the number of Protestants in China to something in the range of 3 million people. The estimate today is 120 million. No one knows. This is a good thing. If the state cannot count them, it cannot persecute them.
Chinese Protestants have adopted a strategy used in the late Roman Empire. They are worshiping in homes and secret buildings. They stay on the move. In short: the churches do not have 9-digit zip codes.
The same strategy was used under the Soviet Empire before it collapsed in late 1991.
The same strategy has worked in the tribal states of the post-European empire world in sub-Sahara Africa.
The same system is working in Latin America, to the dismay of the bureaucrats.
This has received little attention in the West, because this strategy relies on invisibility. The West's intellectuals suffer from a myth of modernism: "If bureaucrats cannot count something, it cannot be important. It it cannot be computerized, it cannot be socially relevant." Call it the NSA's blind spot. Call it the IRS's nightmare.
The strategy is simple to describe: no permanent real estate. There are no permanent church buildings.
If you can't find it, you cannot tax it. If you cannot find it, you cannot regulate it. If you cannot find it, you cannot subsidize it. If you cannot tax it or regulate it or subsidize it, the state cannot suppress it. It's simple. And it is working, just as it worked from Nero to Diocletian.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Gary North reports:
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:33 PM