A culture dating back six millennia. One-fifth of the world’s population. For much of its history, closed to outside influences. That describes the China most of us know—but everything there is changing.
Economic prosperity has reached record levels. With it have come materialism, economic disparity, and a realization that money cannot solve deep problems of the soul. The tight grip of communist ideology has been loosened by the events of Tiananmen Square, the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, and the importation of capitalism.
China is at a crossroads. Long-held traditions and beliefs are being questioned, leaving a spiritual vacuum that has been filled partially with the god of materialism. But China’s people yearn for more. They are searching for truth, hope, and purpose.
The upcoming Olympics, rapid economic expansion, and this yearning for something more create an unprecedented window of opportunity to reach Chinese people for Christ. The Back to God Hour (BTGH) media ministry is reaching across physical, political, and social barriers to bring the life-changing message of the gospel to Chinese people everywhere.
While Protestant Christianity is the fastest-growing religion in China, the spread of Islam, especially in Northwest China and among minorities, is daunting.
Brother Liu, a respected Christian leader in China, wrote in a letter to BTGH Chinese staff: “There is no way we can reach all the 1.3 billion [Chinese-speaking] people without gospel radio. Now that there are more people coming to Christ, we need your broadcast even more to help nurture and equip new converts.”
Radio is effective in broadcasting Chinese-language messages. The BTGH is also reaching people through widespread print and CD materials. But many contacts come through BTGH websites (an average of 10,000 contacts each month) asking for prayer, spiritual guidance, or Christian literature.
This e-mail came from a listener who hears the “English World” program in Mainland China: “I have no faith in any god. . . . But I found that the God you are introducing is so different and I decided to learn more.”
Ming, a young student, wrote: “I enjoy listening to your program very much. We are told that religion is just for the weak and uneducated. If God is real, he will help me to understand and experience him, right?”
And Wu, a new Christian, rode her bike to the Internet café to send this e-mail: “Please pray for me. I am teaching [the Bible] to three children and leading one fellowship. Yet my spiritual age is still young, and I lack knowledge and self-confidence.”
BTGH staff sent Wu the Chinese-language Truth Q&A booklets to help answer her questions. Last year, the BTGH distributed 18,000 of these booklets to help believers deepen their faith and guide nonbelievers to the truth of God’s Word.
Wu, Ming, Brother Liu. Just three of the 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people The Back to God Hour is reaching through media technology, thanks to the support of the Christian Reformed Church.
Pray that God will continue to use the Chinese ministry of The Back to God Hour to gather people, one by one, into Christ’s family at this crucial time in history when hearts are open and longing for answers that only God’s Word can truly provide. n
Chinese ministry at a glance
The Back to God Hour’s Chinese ministry includes
- websites: www.chinese-goodnews.org and www.kidswelcome.org.
- nine radio programs in Cantonese or Mandarin, including a unique program for children.
- broadcasting on 20 local radio stations in 17 countries, plus worldwide via shortwave.
- Internet broadcasts reaching people on nearly every continent.
- follow-up centers in Hong Kong and Chicago; we also partner with local churches in Australia and New Zealand.
- Over 126,000 responses are received each year from Chinese-speaking people in 38 countries.
To order a three-minute DVD highlighting the Chinese ministry or for information about supporting The Back to God Hour Chinese ministry with your prayers and gifts, go to www.btgh.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 888-588-3388 (Canada) or 800-879-6555 (U.S.).
Many churches have scheduled an offering for BTGH Chinese ministries on December 9.
Reaching China’s Children
Nearly 290 million Chinese children under the age of 14 have grown up in an atheistic culture. In recent years The Back to God Hour has received increasing correspondence from parents in China about the problems they face in raising their sons and daughters.
The Chinese government’s “one child, one family” policy, imposed to curtail the population, has produced a generation of pampered “little emperors.” Parents write that behavior problems are abundant. They are asking for help. Their children need instruction and discipline but, most important, they need Jesus. Sunday school is usually forbidden in order to protect children from being “brainwashed” by Christianity. So The Back to God Hour developed a children’s ministry that includes a radio and Internet program, literature, CDs, and the interactive website www.kidswelcome.org to introduce children to God through stories and activities. Early responses have been encouraging.