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In the past two decades, there are 360,000 foreign brides in Taiwan; 250,000 of them were from China. The laws have been discriminatory toward those from China, not allowing them to work until 2 years after marriage. Let us pray for Taiwan churches reaching out to these foreign wives with language courses, Bible studies and helping them to adjust.
A new book out in China calls the following "the ten hopeless defects" of Chinese women: Don't know how to love themselves, superstitious about romantic love, afraid of aging, pity themselves, lack style, are highly competitive, are over-sensitive, are vain, easily blame themselves, and love to gossip. Women constitute the majority in most churches in China. They are made up of not only the Martha's and Mary's of Jesus' time but tens of thousands are like Paul's co-workers Phoebe and Priscilla. We pray for all the women believers, especially those who serve behind the scenes. May they be wonderful mentors to younger women believers.
Many of the Turkic-speaking Uighurs, with a population of 9 million in Xinjiang, accuse the dominant Han ethnic group of discriminating against them and saving all the best jobs for themselves. Many feel the Party is repressive and tries to snuff out their Islamic faith, language and culture. The government believes the Uighurs should be grateful for bringing rapid economic development, new schools, highways, airports, railways, natural gas fields and oil wells in this vast and once backward region. It is fair to say that most Han Chinese are unaware of the ethnic pride and issues the minority groups in China face daily. Recently, China churches are engaging world mission with a great sense of nationalist pride and ethnic superiority. We pray that all believers will first seek to empathize with their ethnic minority groups in their provinces. May the Lord open our eyes, not to overlook to the needs of our "invisible" neighbors- the Muslims in China.
Children do well scholastically is the dream of all Chinese parents. However, even though Taiwan has now implemented mandatory high school education, parents will still push their children to get into competitive universities. A recent survey of Christian parents revealed that scholastic achievement is their number one concern while faith issues rank only ninth. May the Lord open the eyes of Christian parents to see the spiritual needs of their children. We pray, too, that Chinese churches will sense the crisis of this loss of young people and children in their churches.
Sharing Jesus Christ to family members, especially parents is not an easy task. The traditional Chinese obeying-the-parents mindset make it even more difficult to "change" the minds of the older parents. Majority of the older generation are atheists, they see Christianity as foreign religion and equate it with Western colonial power. Every summer, tens of thousand overseas Chinese return to China for the summer holidays. Many believers have earnestly prayed that their time at home would be a great time to share their faith in Jesus with their relatives. We pray for the seeds they have sown and may the Holy Spirit quicken their hearts seeing the lives changed in these Christian.
The Chinese government faces the problem of the ever-increasing foreign trade reserve. Officials speak of caution in spending this huge sum of money, worrying about devaluation of the US dollar and investment return. Companies also are concerned about safety, liquidity and preservation of their trade revenue. Chinese churches shy away from talking about financial matters as if that is something that is totally unspiritual. Money matters, pastors' compensation and tithing are generally taboo subjects in the church. This all contributes to neglect of pastors so we pray that God will change the attitude of all believers that they will give thanks for what they have and be willing to gladly give all they can to God.
These are excerpts of "23 behaviors of illegal religious activity" implemented in Xinjiang in both Uighur and Mandarin: Forcing others to profess a religion and observe Ramadan. Opening private religious school; conduct marriage or interfering social life with traditional methods, encourage students to attend religious service; unauthorized pilgrimage, collecting religious taxes, offering; unauthorized religious building; unauthorized religious meeting. The same definitions apply to all religions. We pray that believers will have favor of those who have jurisdiction over them. We too pray that their good deeds will be a shinning testimony to people around them.