Africa is Evangelizing China With the Gospel and the Church is Growing in the Midst of Heavy Persecution

A villager climbs up the steps toward a cross near a Catholic church on the outskirts of Taiyuan, North China’s Shanxi province, December 24, 2016. Picture taken on December 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee – RTX2WF8D

As the Chinese economically invest in and build infrastructure in Africa, Africans are evangelizing the Chinese.

In 2014, trade between China and Africa reached an all-time high in 2014, according to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University and McKinsey & Company. Billions of dollars in loans from China to Africa in addition to foreign direct investment have increased significantly in recent years.

Meanwhile, as a result of the influx of Chinese resources and approximately 10,000 Chinese-owned companies, the estimated 227,000 to 1 million Chinese working on the continent are hearing the message of the Gospel from African evangelical Christians.

“Many local African churches have reached out to Chinese workers, including incorporating Mandarin into services. A number of Chinese, in turn, have welcomed the sense of community and belonging that these Christian churches offer,” according to UnHerd Wednesday.

“And a small but growing number of ethnically Chinese missionaries from Taiwan and other countries are specifically targeting Chinese nationals in Africa, preaching to them with a freedom they’d never be allowed in the People’s Republic.”

This connection to the Gospel presents a challenge to the Chinese government which has a long history of brutally persecuting Christians under Communist dictator Mao Zedong, oppression that has been reinvigorated today as crackdowns on churches are occurring again. The government has blown some of them up and has arrested whole congregations. The government hostility to religion extends beyond Christianity and its activities; the Uighur Muslims have been detained and abused in Chinese government-run camps, according to reports.

Some outside groups estimate that between 25 to 50 percent of the Chinese population are believers in some kind of religion, to the chagrin of the government.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter