Lifestyle & Belief

Evangelicals at the Olympics

Evangelical Christians see China as the last frontier -- very, very few of China's 1.3 billion people are Christians -- but preaching's going to be touch. Chinese authorities are planning to strictly enforce the law against evangelizing.

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"The World's" Katy Clark reports that China's constitution technically guarantees freedom of religion, but freedom, when it comes to communist-ruled China, is a relative term. Christians in China aren't allowed to evangelize -- missionaries are often left to sharing their faith through example, which comes down to one-on-one conversations with Chinese they encounter in their jobs, or shopping, or walking around the neighborhood.

Missionary work surrounding the Olympics is nothing new -- at past games Christian groups routinely distributed religious booklets and music CDs, staged concerts, and even sent Chaplains to the games along with sports teams. China is having none of that. But where some see state censorship, others see opportunity. A group called The Fellowship of Christian Athletes believes that athletes and coaches will be the best messengers in China.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More "The World."

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