China is the largest nation
in the world. Its culture and mentality are somewhat enigmatic to those
of us from other countries. The number of Christians among the Chinese
is also the largest in history. We have talked with Chinese Christians
from Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan in an effort to understand this
Their worldview was influenced by Confucianism, a philosophy which
emphasizes stability, order, family and respect. This may be a reason
for the steady growth in their population over the centuries. There are
likewise deep roots of ancestor worship and paganism (note the repeated
emphasis on "dragon" symbolism).
When Communism spread across China in the 1940's and 50's,
because of its totalitarianism and atheism, it ironically served to
depress much of the pagan religious roots during the decades of its
brutal regime. Atheistic Communism became its own fanatic religion.
Its oppression and murder of all opposing groups, particularly the
violent persecution of Christians, was one of the darkest periods in
After almost complete annihilation, the handful of surviving Christians
in the 1980's began to grow - little by little at first, and then
exponentially, reaching approximately 100 million believers today. The
growth of the "family - house" churches was primarily among poor peasants
in villages and small towns.
During those years, a "state-authorized" denomination called, "The
Three-Self Church". developed. Many of the house church Christians viewed
this "Communist-approved" denomination as compromising, if not heretical.
However during the 1990's (after the famous Tiananmen Square protest
of 1989), the majority of people within China became disillusioned with
Communism as a para-religious ideology. Today, the Communist Party still
maintains a huge, totalitarian secret police, yet most Chinese accept the
Party as the only group that can administrate the finances, bureaucracy
and infrastructure of this huge nation.
Persecution of the house church movement has lessened. There has also
been more freedom of faith and Bible teaching within the "Three-Self
Church". A third stream of Christians has arisen, located more in the
major cities, and includes college educated professionals. Because of
their higher social standing, this third group has potential to
influence Chinese society as a whole in the years to come.
There is an opening today for greater evangelism, but also a danger of
reverting to ancestor worship and a variety of pagan cults. The
spiritual vacuum will be filled one way or the other, for good or for
evil. This is an urgent time of prayer for China.
As Communism took over the country in 1949, the then national government
fled to Taiwan, forming a republic that was supported by the United
States. Hong Kong, a major island-city on the southern coast of China,
retained autonomy under British protection. The split between these
three groups of Chinese (Mainland - Hong Kong - Taiwan) has been a
painful and angry conflict until recently.
Korea is a peninsula of the Chinese continent. While the Koreans are not
Chinese, they are quite close ethnically to the Chao Zhen Zhu Clan. As
Chinese Communists moved to take over Korea in the 1950's, the
United States tried to halt the advance of Communism and to defend Korea.
The war ended with a truce in which North Korea was aligned with
Communist China (adjoining Korea from the north) and South Korea was
aligned with the United States (from the West). There is a hunger among
the people in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North and South Korea to
overcome the historic divisions, but the path is still filled with many
In China there have been many dialects of Chinese language, the two
largest being Cantonese in the south (associated with Hong Kong) and
Mandarin in the north (associated with Beijing). Mandarin is becoming the
official language of all the Chinese, and even those in Hong Kong have to
The United States is trillions of dollars in debt to China. Ironically,
the sum is so great that it has created a weird co-dependency between
these two giant competitors. China needs the United States to maintain
financial viability in order to continue to pay its debt with interest to
In the formative stages of the home church movement in Mainland China,
the new Christians had little exposure to outside theology and read the
Bibles in "primitive" simplicity. They read about Israel as the Promised
Land. They received revelation about bringing the gospel "back to
The Israeli government considers trade with China one of its pillars for
future economic success. The Chinese look to the innovativeness of the
Israelis, and the Israelis look at the enormous market power of the
Chinese. The "star of the East" is rising; and the "road to Jerusalem" is