Citing a study by the Chinese General Social Survey, Pew Research figures there are only 20 million Christians in the country. But David Curry of Global Christian Relief is pushing back against that. For one thing, he points out that Pew's methodology relies on people self-reporting.
"We have to recognize that right now in China, to admit to a public source that you're a Christian puts yourself in the crosshairs of all number of agencies that are going to try to monitor you and control you and give you a social score that's going to punish you for your faith," he says.
Christians there are heavily persecuted and often sent to jails, prisons, and re-education camps.
"They've solidified control under President Xi," Curry says of the Communists. "They're trying to control access to the Bible so that they can, over time, edit it, change it to make it subservient to Communist ideology, and they're taking the church, the megachurch movement, the growth of the underground church, and they're trying to break it into pieces."
In spite of everything, the Christian Church is raising up more leaders, and more Christian parents are disciplining their children at home because it is illegal for them to attend church.
Curry, who also serves as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), says based on Global Christian Relief's internal research, Pew's estimates of the Chinese Christian population "could be off by as much as 100 million."