Sid and Al were sitting in a Chinese restaurant. “Sid,” asked Al, “are there any Jews in China?” “I don’t know,” Sid replied. “Why don’t we ask the waiter?” When the oriental waiter came by, Al inquired of him, “Are there any Chinese Jews?” “I don’t know sir, let me check,” the waiter said, and he went into the kitchen. He returned in a few minutes and said, “No, sir. No, Chinese Jews.” “Are you sure?” Al said. “I will check again, sIr,” the waiter replied and went back to the kitchen. While he was still gone, Sid said, “I cannot believe there are no Jews in China. Our people are scattered everywhere.” When the waiter returned he said, “Sir, no Chinese Jews.” “Are you really sure?” Al stated again. “I cannot believe there are no Chinese Jews.” “Sir, I ask everyone,” the waiter replied exasperated. “Yes, we have Orange Jews, Prune Jews, Tomato Jews and Grape Jews, but we have no Chinese Jews.”
The truth is, there really are very few Jews in China. According to the World Jewish Congress – out of a total Chinese population of 1.3 billion, there’s just 2,500 Jews. However, there are a lot of Christians. So much so, that according to Fen Yan, Professor of Sociology at Purdue University, and author of, Religion In China: Survival And Revival Under Communist Rule, “By my calculations, very soon, China will become the largest Christian nation in the world.” And it is the rise of the latter that has led to the current church crackdown there.
The bottom line? Isn’t it ironic that in North America (with religious freedom) Christianity is on the decline. But in communist China, (with religious persecution) Christianity is on the rise. I can tell you this – it sure has China’s leaders in Red Square scratching their heads.