Toad wrote:Fortigurn wrote:Hannibal wrote:Isn't that pretty much the same for everywhere?
No. The mega-church phenomenon is confined to a surprisingly small minority of Christianity. It's very prominent in the US and Korea, but you won't find it in many other places. It never took off in Australia, and the one mega-church which did start there has been repeatedly ridiculed and derided by Christians and pagans alike, for looking and operating more like a business than a place of worship. When even other Christians are saying your tax-exempt status needs to be revoked because you very obviously don't do any charity and you very obviously make a profit, there's something badly wrong.
Also the Catholic Church, which considers itself Christian and has a large slice of the world Christian, um, market. You can't get much more 'mega' than having your own State and Empire, as-was.
I find organised religions of all kinds offensive, especially religions like Christianity which are overtly 'personal' religions (emphasizing a personal relationship with God). I would guess a good fraction of the Christians in China are of the sort who think it basically boils down to praying for good fortune in a faux-European building instead of at the ancestral shrine.
In Latin America, the mega churches have taken over the powerful political role of the Catholic Church. Taken off? Made like a bandit, me thinks. So instead of taking off the chains from organized religion, they changed one old rusted collar for a newer one. Both have the same function as anchors: keeping people in their place, hoepfully by the bottom of the ocean, as corpses one way or another. Mostly women and children in their wake. It is hard to think of any positive contribution they might have made to society, aside from huge mansions for local pastors.
Many have called the economic process in China a "Latinoamericanization". I expect this religious surge will follow the same model, too. But a lot more dangerous in terms of the effects of the hatred and isolationism generated by such preaching. Religion, like a virus, starts spreading to areas beyond its call.
Last tie that it took over, we lost daily bath and common sense hygine for like, what 10 or 12 centuries? Imagine teh damage it can do in China.