Life expectancy in China has lengthened dramatically, rising an average of 8.5 years since 1990. Shanghai had the highest life expectancy in China in 2013, 80.2 years for men and 85.2 for women. This is an increase of six years from 1990. We give thanks to God for the enormous improvement in the health of people in China and pray for those caring for the elderly in every church there. May the Lord raise up more people who will look after and visit the older believers.
In addition to the leap in life expectancy, there has been a significant drop in child mortality in China. Between 1996 and 2013, the mortality rate for Chinese children under five decreased by 70%. Many churches still have little or no meaningful ministries for children. With the abolishment of the one-child policy, we pray that churches will be ready to begin by training workers to begin and expand their children's and youth ministries.
There has been a sizeable shift in the pattern in the cause of death in China--away from infectious diseases to non-communicable ones with the notable exception of HIV. Churches also have many people with chronic illness. We ask God to help the people in the churches not only to pray for the healing of the sick in their churches but to also extend helping hands to them--especially to those non-Christian families.
More years of life were lost to stroke, heart disease, and cancers in 2013 than 1990. Road injuries have also become a top ten cause of death in every single province in mainland China. We pray for traveling mercy and safety for believers in their travel to work and back home. We specifically lift up pastors who shepherd flocks and preach at different meeting places. May the Lord protect their going in and out.
Chinese in the less-developed regions of China like Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Guangxi have double the burden of infectious diseases, road injury, stomach cancer, and cerebrovascular disease (the main cause of stroke) than those elsewhere. We pray for churches and believers in these regions. We know they are small and weak, both physically and often spiritually as well. May the Lord grant them revival and strengthen them.
Chinese people make up the largest number of tourists in the world which is expected to double to 200 million by 2020. Many countries are dropping their visa requirement to attract Chinese tourists. We pray churches will grasp the opportunity to share the gospel with Chinese tourists visiting their cities and invite them to come to their services.
Last year forty million tourists from China inundated Hong Kong but unfortunately they did not find a welcome there because the locals were angered by their outlandish spending in stores that sold luxury goods, malls, and even in the restaurants. We pray that local believers in every country will welcome Chinese tourists, in a way that facilitates the sharing of the Gospel, without discrimination.