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Is Christianity Driving China’s Economic Growth?

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china-christiansFor the past three decades China has been the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10 percent a year for 30 years. As Brian J. Grim, founder and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, notes, there are many reasons for the growth, such as market mechanisms, modern technology and Western management practices. But one factor that is often overlooked is the role of Christianity:

A study by Purdue University’s Fenggang Yang (cited recently in the Economist) finds that China’s Christian population may become the world’s largest by 2030.

The ongoing growth of Christianity and the growth of China’s economy may be related, according to a new study in the China Economic Review by Qunyong Wang (Institute of Statistics and Econometrics, Nankai University, Tianjin) and Xinyu Lin (Renmin University of China, Beijing).

Wang and Lin find that Christianity boosts China’s economic growth. Specifically, they find that robust growth occurs in areas of China where Christian congregations and institutions are prevalent.

Using provincial data from 2001 to 2011, Wang and Lin investigated the effect of religious beliefs on economic growth. Among the different religions analyzed, they found that Christianity has the most significant effect on economic growth.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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