Pray for: People's Republic of China

Flag for People's Republic of China

Key Stats

Religion & Geography
Category Statistic
Continent: Asia
Capital: Beijing
Population: 1,444,216,102
% Urban: 62.5 %
Population Under 15 Yrs: 17.8 %
Official Language: Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese); local languages in the five Autonomous Regions. 15 regional mega-languages. There are an estimated 600 different spoken Han dialects, but one written language common to all
Languages: 296
Literacy Rate: 95 %
HDI Ranking: 85 / 189
% Christian: 7.9 %
% Evangelical: 5.7 %
Largest Religion: Non-religious
% Largest Religion: 44.4 %
People Groups: 544
Least Reached People Groups: 443
% Unevangelized: 33 %
Persecution Ranking: 17 / 50

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Some call this the “Chinese Century” because of China’s rising role on the world stage. It has more people than any other country, and massive influence on world economics and politics. China invests billions of dollars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to develop trade, but also to gain influence. But it also remains politically oppressive and corrupt. It has a poor human rights record, and imposes harsh laws and punishments. The cult of personality surrounding President Xi, the increasingly bellicose tone of China’s foreign policy, and the accelerating oppression of minorities and dissidents should compel us to prayer! Pray for God to do a mighty work in and through the Chinese government.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

The biggest human migration in history is happening in China today. In just a couple of generations, hundreds of millions of rural dwellers have relocated to China’s urban centres. Many millions cannot support their families through farming. Migrants to cities end up without basic social services or educational opportunities, which creates overcrowding and unemployment. Migrants without proper housing become vulnerable and problematic. These problems were exacerbated in 2020 by the lockdown and economic consequences of Covid-19’s emergence in China. Pray for Christians in the cities to reach out with compassion to these millions of desperate people.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

From 1970 to 2015 China had a “one-child policy” to control population size. Many families desired a healthy son, and so they aborted, abandoned, or trafficked female or disabled babies. The Chinese perform over 13 million abortions every year, and many accept it as a form of birth control. The future situation will be a great burden on Chinese society. Pray for wise long-term policies. Currently China has a “two-child policy”. Gender imbalance: some studies predict that 20-30 million men will be left single by 2020. Instances of rape, abduction, female sexual slavery, incest, prostitution, dangerous homosexual behaviour, and the rapid spread of sexually transmitted infections may all increase; indeed many such increases have already been documented. The workforce: The number of young people available for some jobs in industry and the military will decrease significantly. Care for the elderly: fewer young people will be available to help. Some desperate families abandon elders the way they do young children.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

The survival and growth of the Church in China are awesome events in our generation! The atheist government strictly controls religious groups, and banned all religious activity during the Cultural Revolution. Christians then started underground house-church networks designed to survive the persecution. Through radio ministries, Christian workers, and believers devoted to outreach, the Church did more than survive; it grew! The government re-allowed registered churches in 1978 as a way to regain control over Christianity. But the unregistered churches just continued to grow. In fact, there is no growth story like it in all of church history. 2.7 million evangelicals in 1975 grew to over 75 million in just 35 years!

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Pray for the Chinese Church:

  • The Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council (TSPM/CCC) together form the only state-recognized Protestant Church. It can legally print and distribute Bibles, and can register and build church buildings. But the government limits its teaching, outreach, and discipleship activity. Since its restoration in 1978, it continues to grow. In the past, the atheist regime imposed some doctrines and practices on the TSPM/CCC that hindered its impact on society. Pray for revival and renewal, and future growth.
  • The traditional house-church networks formed the core of the Chinese Church for many decades. Preachers travelled far and wide across China. The intense persecution isolated them from the global Church, and forced them to adopt indigenous ways. They focus strongly on prayer, revival, simple living, and on Christ! Most house-church Christians love their country, but their first loyalty is to God. They do not want to register with the government. Their illegal status leads to persecution. The mass migration to the cities will force these networks and churches to adapt. Some rural congregations get left without a leader, and some migrants struggle without a church group in the city. Pray that the strong commitment to God’s Word, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the boldness to spread the gospel will all continue to shape this growing, changing movement.
  • Other smaller, less-organized house-church networks still make up a significant part of the Chinese Church. Many formed through radio broadcasts and related ministries, often among minority groups. More recently, new networks form within the workplace, such as within factories or offices owned or managed by Christians.
  • The urban professional Church is an important recent development. Many professionals and academics turned to God for the first time, open while students or professors living abroad. They returned to China eager to engage urban society with their new faith! These well-educated believers can influence government, business, media, the legal system, academia, and civil society. They can relate differently to the government than the TSPM/CCC or house-church networks can. Many have strong commitment to social welfare.
  • The Catholic Church was divided when the Chinese government set up the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) that was independent of the Vatican (1957). The majority of Catholics went “underground”, and stayed loyal to the Pope. They suffered severe persecution. These groups fought with each other, and the Pope now encourages them toward reconciliation. Many Catholics are passionate, charismatic believers.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Missions vision is strong, and the Chinese Church sends out workers to both unreached minorities within China and unevangelized nations beyond. Some house-church networks have supported missions outreach to other provinces and to ethnic minorities for a long time. The Back to Jerusalem vision aims to send up to 100,000 missionaries from China throughout the unevangelized world. Some think China may become the greatest sending nation of the 21st century! Pray for good preparation to equip Christians and churches for this cross-cultural task. Pray for sensitivity and humility, especially for the dominant Han Chinese.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

The “lost generation”. The Cultural Revolution was Mao Zedong’s final policy, and it caused great suffering. Millions died in those years, and education was crippled. Pray that the “lost generation” of that era might find hope and peace in Christ.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Islam is an officially recognized religion in China, but conflict with some ethnic minority groups makes it a sensitive matter. Almost all Muslims come from the indigenous Uyghur, Kazak, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Tatar, Salar, Dongxiang, and Hui groups. Recently, Muslim minorities have suffered terrible treatment, including the internment of over 1 million Uyghurs in “re-education camps”. Few Christians in China live and work among Muslim peoples, and work among them becomes increasingly difficult due to government policies. Ask God to call more workers to serve these often isolated and sometimes oppressed minorities.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Northeast China: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning provinces. Over 120 million people. Around 8% of them are Christian. This region (near North Korea and Russia) was the homeland of the Manchu people (Manchuria), who conquered and ruled all of China from 1644-1911. Heilongjiang Province has good farm land. Jilin Province borders North Korea. Liaoning Province attracts economic migrants for industry, agriculture, and the busy port (Dalian). The Church here grew rapidly, with both locals and foreigners (Korean) active in ministry and church planting. Pray for this region where the drama and danger of North Korean escapees unfolds, that God would draw many North Koreans, ethnically Korean Chinese, and Manchu and Han Chinese to Himself.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

North Central China: Hebei, Shaanxi, Shanxi, 2 Municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin). Over 176 million people live in North Central China, with about 8% of them Christian. China is ruled from Beijing. The Communist Party’s grip over this vast population – and the information they are exposed to – appears to be getting tighter and tighter. Pray for the nation’s leaders to seek the good of the people. The wealth and influence of Beijing attracts millions of rural migrants, as well as people from business and academic communities throughout China and the world.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Northwest China: Gansu, Qinghai, 2 Autonomous Regions (Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang) Over 40 million people live in this region. Around 5% are Christian. Qinghai Province is a unique region where the Tibetan, Han, Mongol, Hui, and Turkic worlds meet. Qinghai has the highest ethnic-minority population of any full province in China. In the 1940s, only a few hundred Christians lived here. Growth has been significant mostly among the Han Chinese. Many thousands of prisoners endure great hardship in the labour and prison camps in this province. Pray for the believers who suffer in prison, that their faith in God might grow and bless those around them.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

East China: Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Zhejiang, 1 Municipality (Shanghai) Over 400 million people live here. Over 10% are Christian. Christian growth in East China has been amazing for several decades now! Every province but Jiangxi had enormous church growth, and even there the Church grows in some areas. TSPM, Catholics, and especially house churches all flourish. Fujian was one of the first provinces to receive the gospel from Protestant missionaries (19th century). Two of China’s largest house-church networks started in Anhui, where the Church keeps growing despite strong persecution. 20% of Zhejiang is Christian, the highest of any province (likely more born-again believers live here than in any European country!). Nanjing (in Jiangsu) is a key city for Christianity in China. The national seminary for the TSPM and the Amity Press (the biggest printer of Bibles) are both here. Christians from these areas, especially Zhejiang, work to evangelize other parts of China.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

Central China: Henan, Hubei, Hunan, 1 Municipality (Chongqing) Pray for the 250 million people of Central China. Around 10% are Christians. Henan is the powerhouse of church growth in China! Some refer to Fangcheng county as the “Jesus Nest”. The state declared Henan an “Atheistic Zone” in the 1960s. Revival began during the Cultural Revolution with mass conversions, miracles, and vision for evangelizing China. Henan now has the largest TSPM and house-church populations. Outreach from Henan is one of the great stories of the expansion of Christianity! Church-planting teams (often young women) went out from Henan, followed by Bible teachers. Praise God for this massive, nation-changing growth.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

South & Southwest China: Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan, 2 Autonomous Regions (Guangxi Zhuang and Chongqing) Over 350 million people live here. Only around 4.5% are Christian.

  • The unreached peoples of South and Southwest China number tens of millions of individuals, in hundreds of different groups, each with different cultures and languages. Difficult geography and poor transportation keep many villages isolated from the gospel. The Holy Spirit worked powerfully among some tribal groups of Yunnan in the last century (Lisu, Hmong, Wa, Jingpo, Nu). Other peoples have a large number of Christians, but it remains only a small beginning.
  • Guangxi is one of China’s least-developed and most remote provinces, and perhaps up to 90% unevangelized. The Zhuang people are China’s largest ethnic-minority population. Pray for Christians to reach even the most remote corners of this region.
  • Yunnan’s minorities number 16 million, in at least 208 peoples. Steep mountains, different languages, old hatreds, and spiritual bondage all hinder the gospel. 95 peoples in Yunnan have no known Christians.
  • The Nosu peoples (Sichuan) once dominated their area and made slaves of Han Chinese until the Communist government gained control here in 1953. The Li people groups (Hainan) have a history of rebellion against Chinese rule. No Scripture exists in the 7 main languages of the Li. Tibetan people groups (Sichuan) are unreached. Many of these people groups are related, but they cannot understand each other’s languages. The Bible is available for the Khampa and Amdo Tibetans, but no other group has access to it. Hundreds of other minorities, such as the Miao and Hmong (mostly in Guizhou), and the Yao- Mien (mainly in Guangxi), need to hear the gospel. Pray for the small Christian churches in them to become strong, effective witnesses.

People's Republic of China

Title: People's Republic of China

Tier: 1

Type: country

The Three Outer Autonomous Regions: Inner Mongolia (Nei Mongol), Tibet-Xizang, Xinjiang Uyghur. Over 48 million people live here. Only around 6.6% are Christian. Tibet was briefly an independent Buddhist state until 1950, when China invaded. Many Tibetans resist the occupation. The government has destroyed over 6,000 monasteries. More than 1 million people may have died, and another 100,000 Tibetans now live in exile in Nepal, India, and the West. Tibetan Buddhism has a powerful hold on the people. The high places of the Tibetan plateau are known to be a spiritual stronghold, highly resistant to the gospel. The ancient religion (Bon) still has demonic and occult influence. 1,800 monasteries and 6,000 Buddhist monks remain in spite of Communist persecution. After centuries of failed attempts and very little fruit, perhaps just over 3,000 Christians exist among the 5 million ethnic Tibetans in the world.

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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.