September 25, 2011


Chinese Christians aim to evangelize Muslim world (Julia Duin, 2/03/11, Washington Post)

Starting several decades ago, Chinese Christians began to strategize how to secretly plant churches along this Silk Road through an initiative called the Back to Jerusalem movement. The idea was to start businesses in countries from India to Iran that would never suspect that the Chinese grocer or restaurant owner down the street would like to convert them.

In the past 20 years, preparations to send teams to these countries has ramped up considerably. In 2000, Chinese house church leaders met in Thailand to strategize this. In 2003, a book "Back to Jerusalem" by New Zealander Paul Hattaway described this initiative where Chinese missionaries are either working in or planning and preparing to go to every nation between eastern China and Jerusalem. I've also heard at least 60 teams have been sent to Burma and a handful into Pakistan. An estimated 1,500 Chinese Christians are in the field but thousands more are in training.

Very little of this has been unreported in the secular media. The sole exception is "Jesus in Beijing," is a 2003 book by David Aikman, a former Beijing bureau chief for Time magazine. He reported that Chinese Christians have enrolled in Arabic- language programs at Chinese universities to work in the Islamic world, filling professional positions such as interpreters, engineers or ordinary laborers. China, he pointed out, is increasingly engaged in the Middle East as its energy needs are dependent on petroleum imports. China is already Saudi Arabia's biggest oil customer. China does arms sales to many rogue regimes and sends its technicians all over the world, often to countries where westerners cannot go. For any enterprising missionary willing to seek employ within the Chinese government, this is an open invitation to missionize in these countries.

Islamic authorities in Muslim states have worked hard to keep their populations from learning about Christianity, which is why visiting westerners are closely watched. They do not suspect a hidden fifth column of Chinese evangelists.

Posted by at September 25, 2011 8:32 AM

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