China, East Asia
Political Leader: President Hu Jintao
Religions: Non-Religious/Other 55.8%, Chinese 28.5%, Buddhism 8.4%, Christianity 7.3%
Persecution Ranking: No. 12
Number of Terrorist Groups: 2
Acts of Terrorism: 22; Casualties: 75
Percent of Corruption: 67%
% of People in Poverty: 10%
China is the third largest state in the world. One in five people in the world live in China. China is a cultural region, ancient civilization, and nation in East Asia. It is one of the world's oldest civilizations, consisting of states and cultures dating back more than six millennia. China ranges from mostly plateaus and mountains in the west to lower lands in the east. Principal rivers flow from west to east, including the Yangtze (central), the Huang He (Yellow river, north-central), and the Amur (northeast), and sometimes toward the south (including the Pearl River, Mekong River, and Brahmaputra), with most Chinese rivers emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
As Beijing prepares to host the 2008 Olympics, China increasingly reached out to the United States and other nations on counterterrorism cooperation. Although not publicly attributing any particular incident to terrorism, Chinese authorities asserted that terrorists, primarily based in Xinjiang, continued to operate clandestinely on Chinese territory. The Chinese government attempted to restrict foreign support for perceived terrorism and increased the number of deployed security personnel in response to perceived terrorist activities in Xinjiang.
China is an atheistic country, with 55.8% of the population non-religious. Christians make up 7.3% of its citizens.
Challenges for Christians:
China is ranked No. 12 among nations that are the worst persecutors of Christians based on Open Doors 2007 “World Watch List.” Since 1999, the Secretary of State has designated China a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for particularly severe violations of religious freedom. The government restricts religious practice largely to government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship and controlled growth and scope of activities of both registered and unregistered religious groups, including “house churches.” Protestant Christians who worshiped outside of government-approved venues, including in their homes, continued to face detention and abuse, especially for attempting to meet in large groups, traveling within and outside of the country for religious meetings, and otherwise holding peaceful religious assemblies in unregistered venues. Police and other security officials sometimes disrupted Protestant religious meetings.
In June 2007, Beijing house church activist Hua Huaiqi was sentenced in a closed trial to six months in prison for obstruction of justice. Police reportedly beat him in jail and poured cold water over him in frigid weather. In April 2007, the Beijing Intermediate People's Court rejected the appeal of Shuang Shuying, the 76-year-old mother of Beijing house church activist Hua Huaiqi. Shuang was sentenced to two years in jail for destruction of public and private property. She claimed that she was defending herself from being struck by an oncoming police car when her cane struck the headlights of the car. Shuang was placed in a medical center under police surveillance after being sentenced because she suffered from heart problems and diabetes. In May 2007 police in Aksu City, Xinjiang, arrested approximately 30 house church leaders who met with Christians from the United States. Four American Christians were interrogated in connection with the meeting and later expelled from China.
- Pray for China to continue to step up its counterterrorism cooperation.
- Pray for God to expose the plans of terrorist groups based in Xinjiang. Pray that their plans to operate clandestinely on Chinese territory would be defeated.
- Thank God that no other country in history has seen as much church growth as there has been in China. Surprisingly the communist rulers of China actually helped the Christian church to grow because they cracked down on all kinds of religious superstition.
- Praise God for the Christians in China who have suffered harsh persecution, but have remained faithful and committed. Churches are growing and seeing the Holy Spirit move in power. Pray for God to continue to grow the Christian church in China.
- Pray that members of the underground church have wisdom to know how and where to meet. Pray that they find creative ways — “God ideas” — to safely share their faith in a hostile environment. (Psalm 112:6-8)
- There is a real need for people to reach out to the 25 million Muslim believers in China. Pray for God to send harvest workers.
- Pray for the salvation of Communist Party leaders.
Sources: 24-7 Prayer, Operation World, Wikipedia, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Open Doors, The World Factbook