China has 23.05 million Christians

At present, there are more than 55,000 churches in China.

New Delhi: China’s economic boom has also resulted in rise in number of Christians in the country that has hit a record 23.05 million in 2010, according to a survey.

Seventy three percent of Chinese Christians joined the church after 1993, and nearly 18 percent of them between 1982 and 1992.

The survey conducted by the institute of world religions at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was released on Wednesday.

“Nearly 69 percent of believers said they converted to Christianity after either they or members of their family fell ill,” said Li Lin, who organised the survey.

“About 15 percent of believers said they are Christian because of the influence of family traditions,” the China Daily quoted Li, as saying.

Li pointed out that the number of female Christians is much higher than male Christians, taking up a whopping 70 percent of the total number.

The demographics of Christians have changed tremendously, with a continuing influx of young people, intellectuals, and professionals from various fields.

To accommodate the increase in the number of churchgoers, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of churches in the country, which currently stand at more than 55,000.

The book also revealed an increase in other faiths, including Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism and Taoism.