China

Flag of China 

china cross removed from church

Cross removed from church

 

Country People’s Republic of China
Continent Asia
Capital Beijing
Population About 1.38 billion
Language Mandarin (Official), Cantonese, Changhainese, Fuzhou, Hokkein-Taiwanese, Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, Zhuang, Mongolian, Uighur, Kyrgyz, Tibetan, and minority languages.
Religion Unaffiliated (52%), Buddhist (18%), Christian (5%), Muslim (2%), folk religion (22%), 0.7% Taoist, <0.1% Hindu or Jewish
Terrain Extremely diverse, tropical in south to subarctic in north, mostly mountains and high plateaus, deserts in west, with plains, deltas and hills in east
Sports Popular sports include basketball, soccer, table tennis, badminton, swimming, Wushu (a martial arts sport) and Volleyball

Well-known Chinese athletes include Yao Ming (basketball), Zhang Lian-wei (Golf), and Li Na (Tennis).

Animals Pandas!

Great diversity with about 100 species specific to China, including golden-haired monkey, South China tiger, brown-eared pheasant, white-flag dolphin, Chinese alligator, and red-crowned crane

Facts of Interest Mount Everest is China’s highest point (on the border with Nepal).

China has the world’s largest hydropower potential

The Chinese government recognizes 56 ethnic groups

Since January 1, 2016, China now allows couples to have up to 2 children (instead of 1 as mandated in 1979).

All broadcast media are owned by or affiliated with the Communist Party

China has almost 5000 years of history, with written records for the last 4000 years. 

Ancient China invented paper making, mechanical printing, gunpowder, and the compass – all of which have helped all other civilizations to grow.

Concerns Air pollution in some areas can be so bad that people are advised to stay inside.  Before the Olympics in 2012, manufacturers around Shanghai closed down for 2 weeks prior to the Olympics so that the air quality could improve for the athletes.

China only allows membership in major, recognized religions, and permitted churches must provide the identity of all members. “Unrecognized” religions are called cults. As an example, in 2011, an evangelical Christian church that had about 1000 members was stopped from renting a place to worship.  Their Palm Sunday worship service, which they held in a park, was stopped and the leaders were put under house arrest.  Members of the church met on a wide walkway/overpass in Shanghai for the Easter service, which was also stopped by police.  Most church members were put under house arrest or jailed, and lost their jobs. In 2016, China has increased its crackdown on unregistered religions and will not allow religious affairs conferences.  Crosses over churches are being forcibly removed (see image above – from NY Times article – cross torn down by Chinese government workers at a Protestant church in the village of Taitou in Zhejiang Province in 2015).  In one confrontation, about 50 church members were injured.

Mission The Office of International Evangelism (OIE) works within Presbyterian World Mission to do evangelism throughout the world, including in China. OIE has mission opportunities in China and anticipates that China may become the country with the 2nd largest Christian population by 2050 (USA is 1st).
Sources CIA.gov, http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/china/pro-wildlife.htm, https://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/focus/inventions.htm, www.nytimes.com, http://www.presbyterianmission.org/wp-content/uploads/international_evangelism_newsletter_winter-spring_2012.pdf, http://www.topendsports.com/world/countries/china.htm