China has launched essentially a new morality movement to fight what the government sees as the rampant "vulgarization" in all forms of media, particularly in entertainment such as TV shows, theatrical performances, publications. Most of the time, Christians in China feel absolutely powerless in changing or influencing the society. Believers feel helpless in shaping the value systems of their children as well. We pray for wisdom for Christian parents, not only in keeping their children from "filth and pollution" but to instill in them godliness, by modeling their own commitment to God.
China's leaders have officially declared war on "three common forms of vulgarity". Entertainers must consciously resist being vulgar, distasteful and fishing for cheap popularity. The aim of this "New Culture Movement" is to promote the traditional Chinese culture, establishing the Socialistic culture with Chinese distinctiveness, but the bottom line is to rid the "spiritual pollution" of China. Most believers spend their non-working hours watching TV and movies, just like the rest of the people. There is a void of "quality“ entertainment. We earnestly pray for guarding of heart of all believers and how we all "entertain" ourselves.
Since the Chinese New Year in February, factories in China have been strained by an unprecedented shortage of laborers. Employers have had to raise wages by 15-20% and still have not been able to find enough workers to keep production lines open. Shortage is not unique in the costal provinces but now it is also felt in the factories that have moved inland to western China. People are asking what happened to all of the cheap Chinese labor they are accustomed to. With the average increase in wages, it is easy for church workers to feel discouraged because the majority of them are not getting a similar cost-of-living adjustment. Let us pray the churches will take care of their spiritual leaders and their families.
Due to inflation, the price of agricultural products has skyrocketed in the last two years boosting the income of farmers and narrowing the gap in income between those in cities and those in villages. Migrant workers from villages, especially those forty years old and older would rather stay home to farm than do manual labor in the cities since the cost of living and the price of their children's education is much cheaper in the villages than in the city. Will this return of people to the villages give rural churches another chance for revival? The future of the rural church in China is definitely in God's hand and we know God has a special purpose for them. We pray for these churches that God will raise up more younger people to serve there.
In China it often requires a whole support team to train church workers. They need people to cook, do the cleaning, and do other jobs to supply the needs of the teachers and students so they can concentrate on their studies. Invariably some students will quit their calling and join others to seek work in the cities which affects the training and spirit of others in the group. Training future church workers is not only time-consuming but it also requires a lot of financial investment. Let us pray for not only those who are the teachers and students, but also for the supporting churches and organizations for these efforts. May the Spirit of the Lord mold and transform the students into faithful future servant leaders.
China has spent great effort to clean up porn and prostitution but with little success. There are laws prohibiting officials from watching pornography but judging from the near frenzied reception they gave a visiting Japanese porn star recently, it is apparent the government has acted with unusual acceptance and given no restrictions. We ask, "What can churches do?" Let us pray for the guarding of hearts and minds for all believers in this wicked world whether adults or teenagers, and even those who are working in churches.
In 1981 China implemented the second "Marriage Law" legalizing family planning. changing the legal age of marriage to "no earlier than twenty-two years of age for a male and not earlier than twenty years old for a female". It also completely abolished the legality of marriage between cousins. Many young Christian girls in China cannot find a mate of the same faith. Many of them have a strong faith in God that He will provide but the pressure from their families to get married is very great. May the Lord comfort them, add to their faith, love and patience before Him.