Beijing, the capital, has the telephone area code of 010; other larger cities have the prestigious 02- prefix: Guangzhou 020, Shanghai 021, Chongqing 023, Nanjing 025, Chengdu 028, and Xian 029. The combined, greater Changsha-Xiangtang-Zhuzhou region is fighting for the prefix of 026. Famous for the Hunan Television programming and being the hometown of Chairman Mao, churches in this region are weak, but the campus ministry is vibrant. Let us uplift all the believers and churches in Hunan province and this rapidly growing tri-city.
People from Henan province are widely discriminated against in large cities. Unfortunately, some of these contributing factors are scandals dating back to the ’90s, like the AIDS epidemic, poisoned rice, corrupt officials, and abductions of women and children. The general impression of churches in Henan is also one of poverty, extremism, and attacks by cults. Let us lift up all the Henan churches in prayer, for focus on God’s Word, solid teaching, and perseverance through trials and tribulation.
School-age children in China spend an average of one and a half hours a day watching television, not including computer use. The wealthier the family, the longer the time the child spends watching TV. Many Christian parents have given up taking their child to church because he wants to play computer games or complains there are no other young people at church. We pray for this serious problem and the heartache believers face when their children refuse to go to church with them.
Working professionals and college students are the emphasis of youth ministries in China. Many churches see the great potential and the vast field of harvest; these churches have sent people dedicated to work on campus or near school to reach these intellectuals. With the prosperity and rapid secularization occurring in China, the work to reach the young people includes many frustrations. We pray for churches that see the need to reach the younger professionals and are willing to make them comfortable in their churches.
It seems that every provincial/city government is hosting its own annual public worship ceremony in honor of a historical figure (Confucius, Huang Di, Da Yu, etc.) with elaborate ceremonies and expensive productions intended to generate publicity and generate tourist income. Ancestral worship is embraced and practiced publicly as well as at home. People seek blessing and protection from their ancestors. Let us pray for this shift in the hearts of people and their growing resistance to the gospel.
Chinese Koreans are a minority of 2 millions, mostly located in the provinces bordering Korea. Since the government implemented the one-child policy, the population of the Korean minority has not grown much. There is a high percentage of Christians among them and many serve as pastors throughout China. The largest church in Shanghai has many Chinese Koreans too. We thank the Lord for the work among them and pray for even more Korean minorities coming to know Jesus.
Nearly every Chinese can tell you about someone they know who has witnessed spiritual phenomenon. In general, Chinese can easily accept the existence of supernatural power or spirits. Fortune telling, meditation courses, and people earnestly disciplining themselves to achieve supernatural power are very common. Naïve believers are drawn to these spiritual activities and consider themselves more special. Let us pray for the gentle but firm way of reproach in churches, especially for church leaders who needs discernment and authority to rebuke these practices.