China (MNN) — As China has become a powerful presence in international affairs, the Christian presence in the country has greatly increased as well. In fact, there are now enough believers for the question to legitimately be asked: could China be the next great Christian nation?
The underground church has been at work in China, but a great deal of evangelism is also happening in businesses. "All of a sudden, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of small businessmen fellowships taking place, both within major corporations in China, and within homes," says Vice President of Global Advance, Jonathan Shibley. "So businessmen are beginning to get a glimpse of what the Gospel looks like, transforming not only their own lives, but transforming the culture around them and becoming salt and light."
Shibley recently returned from a Global Advance Marketplace Missions conference in China. These conferences are designed specifically to build up Christian businessmen in China, equipping them with tools they may otherwise not have. The hope is to increase the Christian presence in businesses throughout the country.
Of course, as the number of believers continues to swell, the Chinese government has taken notice and paid special attention to Christian movement in the business world. Although government officials reprimand business leaders for Christian activity, they actually leave them alone for the most part. The fact is, the morality of these Christian businessmen is helpful to the government, because they are honest and will not try to cheat the system, unlike many other business leaders. The government cannot afford to do them much harm.
With this in mind, both businessmen and organizations like Global Advance hold a critical role in China's future. "China is potentially on the tipping point in the next decade of either becoming a Christian nation or submitting to the god of materialism," says Shibley. "I think what we do to help pour into the godly leaders of China within the next ten years will greatly determine which way it swings."
If this is the case, China could not be more in need of prayer within the next few years. Pray for the millions of believers in China, that they would be strengthened and steadfast in their faith.
Pray also for Christian business leaders to take every opportunity to be the salt and light to their employees and other businessmen. Pray that a spiritual revolution would take place throughout China and that the Lord would be glorified by His people.
To learn more about Global Advance and their work in China, click here.