Millions of Chinese believers celebrated Easter, with special services and baptisms up to hundreds in many locations. More Christians attended Easter services in China than in all of Europe combined, according to one estimate. We thank the Lord for the miraculous growth of the churches in the past 50 years. Let us not stop praying for many churches falling into heresies, in particular the Eastern Lightening, which claims Jesus has returned in the form of a woman.
The United States Secretary of State, Condelessa Rice, worshipped at the Gangwashi Protestant church on Palm Sunday evening. She went to the church immediately after her meeting with President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People. Ms Rice, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, said she did not want to miss worship on Palm Sunday even though she was traveling. We pray that Ms Rice will be a great model for all the young believers, children of church workers, and will inspire millions of young women .
Two days after hundreds of thousands of people marched in Taipei to protest against an anti-secession law passed by Beijing, a high-ranking delegation of Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) visited Mainland for the first time since1949. The delegates paid tribute at the Martyr's Memorial in Guangzhou. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of church. Let us remember all the sons and daughters of those who gave their lives for Jesus (China and Taiwan alike) during the political turmoil past, and pray for their faith and courage to share Jesus.
It is very difficult to get a scientific answer to the question of how many Chinese believe in fortune telling. However, the practice not only has returned but it enjoys great popularity. People are eager to look for a divine solution and long for spiritual guidance. Fortune telling, once considered as superstition and banned from society, is everywhere now. In contrast, Christianity is still viewed by many as a foreign religion. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let us pray for vigorous testimony in the churches and in the lives of believers.
In 2004 there were 53,096 students enrolled in doctoral studies programs, double the number in 2000. Currently there are 140,000 PhD students. Critics complain that China produces too many PhD’s and question the quality of an educational system which nearly guarantees a degree once a student is admitted. Overseas Chinese churches are packed with believers with advanced degrees. Let us pray for humility and stewardship of talents as they serve in their churches. May the Lord bless their churches with their knowledge and experience .
The very first group of government-certified mental health counselors, a group of 277 people, has completed a 2-year training course. Experts estimate that ten percent of the population has psychological problems and needs special attention. The government estimates that twenty percent of Chinese youth suffer emotional and stress-related problems. There is a great need for Biblical counseling. Let us pray for this new avenue of service for Christians in counseling.
Last year, two separate sexual scandals involving well-known university professors led to disciplinary action which included stripping them of Party membership. It is no longer news that government officials have mistresses, but scandals among teachers, the most honorable profession in China, are becoming common. It is difficult to find believers who are capable to teach in the churches. Let us pray for the spiritual lives, humility and impact of all those who teach in various capacities.