A fascinating snippet from an interview with David Aikman:
Lopez: Many of the Christians are elites — scientists, intellectuals. How did that happen?
Aikman: Several of the Chinese students and scholars studying in the U.S. and other foreign countries become Christian. Many of these also returned to China and meet up with colleagues of similar professional attainment who were holding private Christian meetings. Those attending these meetings then began to invite others. Word spread that Christianity "worked," that is, that people who were Christian were genuinely concerned for each other's welfare and that prayers often produced remarkable physical healings from difficult illnesses.
But another factor has been a very open-minded approach by many Chinese intellectuals into such phenomena as the remarkable historical primacy of Western civilization around the world. How could this happen? What were the core principles of Western civilization that enabled it, time and again, to correct itself rather than plunge into cyclical and eventually permanent decline? Many concluded that it was Christian ethics and the dynamism of a faith based on a profound hope in the future and a belief that history was not cyclical, as Buddhism and even Confucianism proclaimed, but linear, and with a specific end goal.
Finally, Christians in the fine and performing arts have shown that there is a way out from the often-nihilistic cycle of modernism and postmodernism. This can be very attractive to artists who would prefer a hope-filled universe in which to develop their creative skills.