Ethnic discrimination is still a big factor why even some of the best-educated Uighur and Tibetan migrants struggle to find work. Tibetans and Uighurs have distinct surnames which are different from the Han Chinese, and Uighurs appearances are quite different from the majority of Chinese. We know the ethnic discrimination is long-standing and deep-rooted, but such bias has badly hurt the efforts of churches to show love and to evangelize. We ask His forgiveness and may the Lord give us all humility and His love for others.
There are government programs trying to help some Uighurs, Tibetans and other minorities to obtain a better education. Affirmative-action policies can boost their chances of attending universities. Many Han Chinese consider it is unfair and a waste of time to help the ethnic minorities. This further perpetuates the resentment and discrimination against them. We pray for repentance and removal of our ethnic pride, as the Lord gives us a tender and compassionate heart for all lost souls.
One scheme, known as the Xinjiang Class, sends thousands of Uighurs as well as Han Chinese from Xinjiang every year to other parts of China to complete their schooling. But it also encourages them to return. But, only half of the graduates actually return to Xinjiang. Not even the Han Chinese want to go live and work in Xingjian if they have a choice. We pray for believers who have vision and passion to go to Xingjiang, to strengthen the churches there and build friendship with local Muslims.
The government has made token efforts to create job opportunities for Uighurs on the coast, sending busloads of them to work in factories. But most employers are wary of hiring Muslims because of their distinct languages and diet. Such governmental schemes could be a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with Uighurs and we pray that churches will see it as their mission to connect with Muslim workers, establish friendships, and show God's love to them.
Tibet is indeed hard soil for spreading the gospel since there are only a few thousand Tibetan Christians there (less than 0.2%). with only thirty to forty house churches where both Han Chinese and Tibetans worship together. There are gospel tracts and Bibles in the Tibetan language, including the Jesus film which is a good tool to use in sharing the gospel. Let us pray for believers in Tibet that the Lord will strengthen their faith and give them the courage to share Jesus with others.
Tibetans are basically friendly and some well-educated Tibetans are even open to Christianity which provides a great opportunity for evangelism. In general, Tibetans outside of Tibet proper (places like Sichuan or Yunnan provinces) are far more receptive to the gospel than those in Tibet itself. Let us pray for Tibetan churches and pastors, as they reach out to their own people in their own language. We pray the Spirit of God moves mightily, opening the door of their hearts to accept Jesus and set them free from the deep spiritual darkness.
One reason some people suggest for the poverty of pastors in China is that some enter the ministry after a business or academic failure or illness so they feel inadequate for the job and are content to be poor. Churches in China teach very little of the truth of tithing, and some even wrongly believe that preaching on giving offerings is a sign of a lack of faith. We pray for the strong preaching of giving among all churches, so believers will know giving to God is a way to receive more blessing from Him.