We can learn much by comparing the results of the communist revolution in Russia with that in China. Both were bloody revolutions that attempted militarily to snuff out all opposition, close down all churches, remove all missionaries and incarcerate all of the church leaders. The church found in Russia prior to the revolution was centered on cathedrals led by priests and was distant from the everyday lives of the people. When communism seized the church and all her assets the people had nothing to turn to spiritually and there was no movement. In China, leaders such as Watchman Nee, had already made strives to empower ordinary Christians with the Gospel and let indigenous churches form in homes and places of business. As a result, when the revolution occurred the true church was still intact even after her buildings and leaders were taken away. In fact, the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse-Tung sought to eliminate all religion from society in China but instead mobilized the church and it grew from about 2 million Christians in 1949 to over 60 million. It is estimated today that there may be upwards of 80 million Christians in China.
Why did the church thrive in China and not in Russia? The foundation of empowering the common Christian in China set the stage for what happened there. The Little Flock movement and others we already in place so that when the heat of persecution hit the church she exploded with growth. There was no such preparation prior to the Soviet Union’s rise to power in Russia.