"The Founding of a Republic" is a film officially released to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party's rise to power. The film retells the tale of the Party's triumph in coming to power and has a star-studded cast who acted pro bono. The struggle between Mao and Chiang was downplayed and nearly all the characters were portrayed positively. The rift between the Three-self and House churches is narrowing but the old wound heals slowly and mistrust exists everywhere. God forgives us when we forgive others. Let us pray for all of us to be reminded of Christ's example of forgiving those who have wronged and hurt us.
On October 1st, during the grand 60th Anniversary military parade, Chairman Hu uncharacteristically did not wear his military attire but chose to wear the "zong san suit" (often known in the West as the Mao suit) for the historic occasion. This classic 4-pocket men's suit has been worn by all the famous leaders since the founding of the modern Chinese Republic. Wearing so-called "Sunday best" clothing to church does not mean much to Chinese believers since most people simply wear their regular outfits. However, poor and wealthy believers still dress differently. Let us pray that there will be no looking down on people based on their educational, financial, or social status in any Chinese church.
China has been discouraging the burial of bodies and making cremation mandatory. This helps to solve the problem of a shortage of cemeteries. Guangzhou, however, is going a step further by promoting the so-called "tree burial"--burying the ashes in a designated forest with a small marker without even taking up any land. Proper burial for one's parents is considered an absolute for filial Chinese families. However, there are many stories of how children neglect their parents when they get old. Let us pray that we will honor our parents and support them while they are alive. God promises that we will be blessed when we honor our parents.
In China, Shanghai has more out-of-town laborers than any other city. There are six million of them and they comprise about a third of the city's population. This so-called "floating population" adds a great burden to the educational, health care, and housing needs of the city. Shanghai will host the 2010 World Expo and 380,000 people will be relocated to build this site. Many Christians from the villages come to Shanghai to work but are unable to find a place of worship. We need to pray for the spiritual vitality of churches in big cities like Shanghai. We remember, too, the many believers who could not find a church so they stop attending worship services entirely because they have lost interest and contact with the church.
Buying and owning a place to live before looking for a mate is very common in China. When people look for their perspective mates, owning an apartment translates into financial security more than having a good job. The same is true for church workers. When they are looking for marriage partners, they face many hurdles. They get small salaries, their work is not considered to be a well-paying and secure job, and they cannot afford to buy houses. Let us pray for those church workers and believers who wish to get married but do not have the financial ability to gain the approval of the family of their desired mate.
In China there is a trend for female students who are near graduation to spend their time looking for a good husband rather than trying to find employment. Especially in a tight job market, to marry right is more important than studying well and that is the pressure that all female collegians face. There are more young women attenders than men in the booming college student ministry in China.. Their famlies and their parents want them to have marriage prospects, but often they still have not shared their faith in God with them. Let us pray for all the young college believers who face the pressure of dating, finding God's will for their lives, and still holding on to their faith in God.
China and North Korea recently celebrated their 60th anniversary of having diplomatic ties. During the 1950's over a span of three years, 130,000 Chinese soldiers, including the oldest son of Chairman Mao, lost their lives fighting the Korean war. Koreans make up a huge majority of missionaries in China and they have the advantage of a similar culture, geographical promimity, and an amazing commitment to and love for Chinese people. We give thanks for the support given by Korean churches to the Chinese people. May the Lord reward them! We also remember all the Korean church workers and many Korean businessmen whose goal is expanding the Kingdom of God and not merely financial gain.