Many Christians say their faith has been singled out because authorities, wary of its rapid growth, are seeking to curb its spread in a campaign that has targeted China’s most thriving Christian communities.
Estimates for the number of Christians in China range from the conservative official figure of 23 million to as many as 100 million by independent scholars, raising the possibility that Christians may rival in size the 85 million members of the ruling Communist Party.
Of course, it could be argued that both acts are similar--it is just that in Sweden the attacks are attributable to extremists who think the government is too lax regarding immigrants of a different religious group, whereas in China the attacks come straight from the government. On the other hand, if one were to try to promote any religion other than Islam in a country like Saudi Arabia, they would likely end up immediately in jail.
Is there any chance that such intolerance will abate in the future? An interesting article at BBC News suggests not. Sociologists see religion as a form of social control practiced in some way or another by every society (even atheism is a religion of a sort--the belief that there is no God is still a religious-type belief). Psychologists see religion as filling in the gaps of our understanding of the world around us, and there is no likelihood that we will ever know everything, so religion is likely to be with us forever (whatever that means!).