Pray for Our World: China

“By 2030, China will almost certainly have more Christians than any other country”, according to Fenggang Yang, director of the center on religion and Chinese society at Purdue University.  While we do not know the exact number of Christians in China and many keep silent about it, I think we would be surprised to know just how much God is working behind the scenes in China.  Christianity did not appear in China until the 7th century during the Tang dynasty.  Because they were so closed off from the rest of the world, they did not hear about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus until 700 years later.

China is an ancient and complex nation.  It is the third largest state in the world with over 1 billion people, 500 indigenous ethnic groups and 55 nationalities (not including Hong Kong and Taiwan which will be listed separately).  There is strict government control of religious groups, five of which are officially recognized: Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Protestant, and Catholic.  There has been some easing of persecution in recent years.  The state recently recognized that there are over 300 million religious believers and over 50 million Christians in unregistered church networks.  The traditional beliefs of the Chinese are a blend of folk religion, Daoism and Buddhism. About 50% of Chinese are considered non-religious, and the official status of China is atheist.

God has protected and grown the church in China on a scale unforeseen in recent times.  Persecution designed to destroy the church has instead inspired fervent prayer and evangelism.  Since the 1980’s there have been vast networks and communities of believers meeting in house churches.  God has a big plan for China.  In God’s timing, the life and purpose of Jesus’ life will be made known to all in China.  When Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking and praying for those in China, ones who were not even known to much of the rest of the world at that time.

Pray for Our World: Chad

Chad is also in central Africa, and is made up of desert, dry grassland and thick bush.  It has a complex mix of over 150 people groups.  Many previously unreached people are being reached for the first time.  The tragic upheaval in nearby Darfur have brought many people into contact with the gospel that otherwise may never have heard.  The persecution by other Muslims have disillusioned many with Islam and have made some open to the loving witness of Christians.  The Chadian Arabic Christian radio and the Jesus film, which is widely used in Arabic, is also well received.

Pray that the people of Chad will continue to have access to the truth of Jesus Christ which will truly set them free and give them a hope and a future.

Pray for Our World: Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are the most affluent of the Caribbean islands.  Christianity is strong there.  There are more than 90 churches and many of them evangelical.  There is one church for every 500 people.  Christian faith and values have a significant influence on the society.  The nation’s flag bears part of Psalm 24, “He hath founded it upon the seas”, and the new constitution includes recognition of their Christian heritage.  Pray that God’s influence and blessings will continue for the over one million tourists who visit the islands each year.

Pray for Our World: Canada

Canada has almost 10 million square km, the world’s second-largest country.  Most are European with a French majority in Quebec.  It has a diverse landscape and mix of peoples – both indigenous and immigrant.  70% of their trade is with the USA.  There is freedom of religion but also rapid secularization.  The majority is Christian Catholic, but 20% are non-religious.  Just like in the USA, the increase in liberal theology coincides with the decrease in church attendance.

I have traveled through most of Canada from Vancouver in the west to Quebec, Montreal and Newfoundland in the east.  It is very European, which is unique for North American continent, and is very secular.  I did not see much evidence of religion of any kind.  However, they do like American Christian television programs, and there are several strong student ministries in their colleges and universities.  The hope lies in our youth, that they will take a stand for their faith in a real way, and lead the next generation.

Pray for Our World: Cameroon

Cameroon in central Africa is one of the most ethnically complex countries with many sub-groups and dialects.  There are 278 languages in Cameroon, which makes Bible translations very difficult.  Only 10 languages have a complete Bible, and there are many unreached people groups.

We know that Jesus will not return until His story is told to the entire world.  What a day that will be when all people groups and all languages will hear about their Savior, Jesus Christ.  Heaven and nature will rejoice!