Christ‘s church thriving in Communist China.
The continent of Asia is extraordinarily vast, and home to well over four billion people. It is also home to most of the world’s unreached people groups. And as we focus on the gospel need across the continent, China is one nation which cannot be ignored.
As commentators speculate on what the next ten or twenty years might hold, eyes are typically drawn to China, with many believing that the actions of this nation will set the course for the rest of the 21st century.
China is one of the most influential and powerful nations in the world, dominating the geo–political landscape in Asia and exerting influence over many other states, not least the other Communist states of Vietnam and Laos. Chinese influence and values are extending further afield too, with heavy investment in Africa and South America aiding the Chinese Communist Party’s influence around the globe.
The past few years have revealed much about the character of modern–day China. Relentlessly persecuted, the Uyghur Islamic minority in western China are subject to a state–led cultural genocide. For some years now, Uyghur Muslims have been routinely detained in re–education camps.
Oppression is acutely felt by Christians in China too. Churches are raided and shut down whilst pastors and evangelists disappear off the street. Policies are in place to dilute the Christian faith – from an emphasis on the commercial nature of Christmas to the intentional corruption of God’s Word. Christians are seen as enemies of Communist values.
However, we praise God that He has truly been building His church in China. Estimates of the numbers of Christians here vary, largely due to the secretive nature of the extensive underground church networks, but it is very likely that there are at least 100 million believers living under persecution today.
If we care about mission in Asia, we must do what we can to serve the church in Asia’s and, arguably, the world’s most influential nation. Only God knows the impact and reach that a well–resourced, well–discipled Chinese church might have across the most unreached continent on earth.