Across China, the number of Buddhists and Taoists has risen quickly and is now in the hundreds of millions. The comparison with Protestantism is even more striking. In 1949, China had one million Protestants. Today, the figure is estimated at 50 million to 60 million, with Protestant congregations especially strong where Catholicism is weakest—in China’s rapidly growing cities and among well-educated white-collar professionals.
Each belongs to one of the City of London’s most familiar yet overlooked group of workers – that amorphous community responsible for cleaning the City, mostly in the small hours, long after everyone else has gone home or before even the earliest of starters arrives to switch on their computer.
A recent survey carried out for the BBC showed that the most popular world leader in the Arab world was not the President of the United States or of Russia – or any Arab leader – but none other than President Erdogan. This embrace of a nationalistic, authoritarian, interfering non-Arab in Arab affairs might, at first glance, look odd.
“If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world because the world loves its own” (Jn 15:18-19). He calmed their perplexed and vacillating spirits recalling that a dramatic destiny puts together, for always, all the just ones. “Remember, that is how the ancestors of this people treated the prophets. Alas for you when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of these people treated the false prophets” (Lk 6:23,26).
Fans of the Catholic author GK Chesterton have spoken of their frustration and disappointment at the decision not to open his cause for sainthood. Last week the Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, wrote to the President of the Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Dr Dale Ahlquist, stating that following a year-long investigation into the cause, much prayer, and a visit to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome, he was unable to promote Chesterton’s canonisation.