Monday, December 15, 2014

Prayer Request 12/16 - 12/22

TuesdayTourism at major temples and sites of the early days of Communism is booming. The so-called "Red Tourism" at the Communist sites has received special recognition. In 2013, thirty million people visited the Yan'an Caves where Mao Zedong spent 13 years in the earlier days of the reign of the Party. The government has vigorously promoted patriotism by combining Maoism and Neo-Confucianism to ensure the dominance of the Communist Party. There are many cadres of the Party who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and we pray they will wholeheartedly love the Lord.
The recent territorial dispute between China and Japan has added interest to Red Tourism. In the past decade, the Chinese government has encouraged young people particularly to visit major Sino-Japanese battlegrounds. Patriotism and nationalism are definitely surging but so is rejection of Christianity as a foreign religion. There is also tendency of believers blindly insist that the churches in China must have a special role in God's plan. We ask the Lord to give us His humility and compassion rather than any kind of pride.
The government of China considers Red Tourism as a political project which focuses on the glorious history of the Party to divert the dissatisfaction people have toward the corruption they see. Red Tourism also reminds young people and the wealthy of the humble beginnings and hardship of the revolutionary era. There are claims that Christians outnumber Party members in China which only alarms the government and may have contributed to increased limitation of religious activities recently. We pray that every believer in China is truly born again, able to live out the salvation of Jesus, and bears the Fruit of the Spirit.
Many people in China actually miss the days of the harsh Cultural Revolution because they are thoroughly disgusted by the rampant corruption they see now. Such nostalgia has led to a great interest in the birthplace of Mao and key revolutionary battlegrounds. Many believers are longing for the old days because they see that churches now are exclusive and not united in any way. We pray for genuine humility for the churches in China. May the Spirit convict us of our pride and lack of having a servant's heart.
A major reason for the rising popularity of Red Tourism in China is that it is cheaper in comparison with travel to other destinations. Red Tourism also provides historical lessons and certain spiritual values richer than those found in the usual sightseeing tours. Wenzhou has the name of being China's Jerusalem but it is now in an unprecedented official crackdown on religious activities. Let us pray that the believers in Wenzhou will not be discouraged but will rather seek God's intervention to preserve many of their buildings which face demolition.
It is very evident that China's new leadership strongly promotes traditional Confucianism and Buddhism but suppresses Christianity. There are political campaigns designed to emphasize "the goodness of Chinese traditional culture" and to foster "socialist core values". Both open and house churches in China have faced much greater official scrutiny recently. We pray fervently for these churches that are facing restrictions and even persecution. May the mercy of the Lord be with those who are persecuted and from their painful experience may the fire of revival start.
Christians who experienced the Cultural Revolution are very different from those who have not gone through it and these differences are clearly evident in how they serve in the church. Generally, they demand to be heard and invariably they fight for power to make decisions. Painfully we say it, but the spiritual lives of many pastors in China are immature so we pray for maturity of all the workers in the Lord's harvest field. We pray, too, for unity among believers and godly examples of humility to learn from in the churches.

當前中國紅色旅遊和寺廟聖地旅遊當紅 。2013年3000萬人參觀了毛澤東在延安窯洞時期領導共產黨13年的歷史古蹟。 政府大力宣傳愛國主義,並把新毛澤東主義與新儒學結合,確保共黨至高的統治地位。我們特別為已經接受耶穌基督為個人救主的共產黨員禱告,求主幫助他們愛主的心更加堅定。
近來中國紅色旅遊恰巧利用了中日釣魚島爭端升級的輿論基礎升溫。過去十年來,政府特別鼓勵發展「抗日戰爭紅色旅遊」,大批年輕人前往抗日地遊覽 。 愛國意識增加,民族主義上升,也使民眾對福音有排斥性,誤認為是一種外來的洋教。不少信徒間也瀰漫著一種中國情結,堅決地認定神必定要重用中國教會。求主賜給我們有主耶穌的謙卑,憐憫的心, 而不是從自己來的驕傲。
對政府而言,紅色旅遊是一項「政治工程」, 尤其是民眾對現實日益不滿時,展示過去光榮歷,有助反腐運動。藉著紅色旅遊,刻意使年輕人和有錢人不忘革命時期的艱難困苦。常有民間的說法:中國的基督徒人數已經超過共產黨員的人數,這一點讓官方擔憂,甚至近來對教會活動多有限制。我們為每位基督徒來禱告,願因十字架寶血而重生得救的肢體,生命與救恩相稱, 結出聖靈的果子。
改革開放以來社會腐敗叢生,矛盾突出。很多中國人非常留戀文化大革命,留戀毛時代。這樣就使得以毛澤東為首的代表性人物的出生地、作戰的地方等都成為紅色旅遊的聖地。有許多信徒也常懷舊,他們認為當今教會非常狹隘,常常一言不合就分裂。求主賜給我們有主耶穌的謙卑,讓聖靈挪去我們當中的敗壞和驕傲,常有僕人的心志,常看別人比自己強 。