China Admits to the Greatest Slaughter in Human History
The Story: The Chinese government recently admitted that over the last four decades the country has aborted 336 million unborn children, many of them forcibly.
The Background: According to the according to the Financial Times, on March 14 the Chinese Health Ministry reported the following statistics for its family planning practices since 1971:
— 336 million abortions performed;
— 196 million sterilizations conducted;
— 403 million intrauterine devices inserted.
China, the world’s most populous country, first instituted limits on population growth in 1971 and established its “one-child” population control program in 1979.
What It Means: The story has been shockingly underreported considering what China has admitted: Since 1971, the country has carried out the largest single slaughter of human beings in the history of the world.
To put the numbers in perspective, the 336 million deaths in China are:
• More than the entire population of the world at the time of the Crusades (c. 1100 AD).
• Equal to the entire combined populations of the United States and Australia.
• More deaths than were caused by (in millions): the Bubonic Plague in Europe (100), the Great Chinese Famine (45), the 1918 Influenza Pandemic (40), the HIV/AIDS pandemic (25), the Holocaust (13), the Soviet famine of 1932-1933 (8), the Russian famine of 1921 (3), and the American Civil War (.8).
• More than all the people killed in the 10 ten deadliest wars in human history (Based on highest estimates (in millions): World War II (72), World War I (65), Mongol Conquest (60), An Lushan Rebellion (36), Taiping Rebellion (30), Qing Dynasty conquest of the Ming Dynasty (25), Conquests of Timur (20), Dungan Revolt (12), Russian Civil War (9), Second Congo War (5.4))
• More than all the children that will be born in the world over the next ten years.
No comparisons, however, can truly help us to understand the scale of these 336 million deaths—and that is in a single country. The magnitude of the crime is incomprehensible to the human imagination. Only God can truly fathom the depths of this depravity and only God can truly apprehend the magnitude of this loss. May he have mercy on our world for what we have done.
Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.