President Carter Says China is Headed Toward Having the World’s Largest Christian Population
As usual, when he is there, the Maranatha Baptist Church at Plains, Georgia was packed Sunday morning. A new friend who formerly lived in South Dakota, Bill Harlan, had said that he and his wife Marjorie, would like to attend one of President Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school classes. So Carol and Don Nahley, Sidney and Ed Wilson, the Harlan’s, and Julie Bray and I motored to Plains. It was a delightful experience.
On October first, President Carter will be 90. You would never know it by the way he conducts his Sunday school class. He is still not only intellectually impressive and witty, but does not move like a man who has been around that long. He was on his feet and in motion for the entire lesson, which lasted almost an hour.
The main point of his talk was that all Christians are missionaries, that Christ himself was a missionary. After normalizing relations with China in 1979, he tried to get missionaries back into the country. He asked for three things: Freedom of religion, the printing of bibles, and allowing missionaries back into China. He got two of them. China agreed to allow freedom of religion and the printing of bibles, but it wouldn’t allow missionaries to return. Now, President Carter said, China is on its way to having the world’s largest Christian population. Sometimes it only takes one person to get the job done and, it seems, one missionary to China, President Jimmy Carter, was the man to do it.