MACAU – Gambling haven locks down

Macau is a former Portuguese colony handed back to China in 1999. It is the first Asian country in history to demographically shift from Christian (Portuguese Catholicism) to non-Christian (non-religious). Its gambling industry is much larger even than Las Vegas, and while there is a very high income per capita, wealth inequality is severe. CoVid-19 action was taken swiftly and emphatically, and it seems to have worked well.

This input comes from a Christian leader in Macau.

“The spread of COVID-19 in Macau also started in early 2020. First and second confirmed cases were found on 22 Jan. Both instances originated from Wuhan, China. Since then, the Macau government took immediate action to impose border controls with temperature checks, closed all schools and universities, plus 15 day closure of all 81 casinos in February. The government also took initiative to control the supply and the price of facial masks, there was not any panic buying and the supply issues in the city stopped in relatively short period (2 weeks). As a result, the outbreak in Macau is not severe. Thank God! The total number of confirmed cases is 45 as of 18 April, and no deaths so far. In the midst of pandemic and social distancing, church services also move to online platforms, yet in an oriental and relational culture, some people in Macau may find difficulty to be an online Christian in a virtual world. This sudden change to social distancing will affect what had been a fruitful approach of friendship evangelism.”

How to pray:

“The main income of Macau is tourism. The main reason for tourism is the casino industry. Casinos as well as many hotels, shops, and restaurants are closed due to the pandemic. Many people may lose their jobs.

Please pray for the livelihoods and well-being of Macau’s people. Pray for the healthy adjustment of Macau Christians while meetings and services are limited to being online. May the Church actually thrive amidst these limitations.”

Pray also that the shutdown may powerfully remind people that the worship of wealth, entertainment, and luxury – around which virtually the entire economy hinges – is a misplacement of worship. May they meet the one, Jesus Christ, who is worthy of all worship!