Today ten of China's 55 official ethnic minorities are Muslim.
The nearly nine million Hui are the largest of these Muslim groups.
They speak the Mandarin Chinese language with some borrowed Arabic
and Persian words. What sets them apart is their Muslim religion.
Hui men wear a round white cap to distinguish themselves as Muslims,
and they refuse to eat pork, drink alcohol, or engage in gambling.
Many younger Hui practice Islam only nominally but continue to
resist assimilation into Han culture. Close-knit Hui communities
center around restaurants and mosques and the leadership of powerful
religious leaders. The Hui are respected for their contributions
to science, warfare, and literature. Hui communities are found
throughout China. There is little or no Christian witness to the
Hui people of China, however, God is beginning to call missionaries
to them. Many of these are Chinese Christians from other countries.
Lord, break down spiritual strongholds and release the Hui from oppression into the kingdom of his Son. Open doors for ministry among the Hui through trade, cultural exchanges, and educational opportunities.
|Religion: Shintoism, Buddhism|
At rush hour in Tokyo, subway guards wearing white gloves pack commuters into the cars like sardines in a can. Under the serene majesty of Mt. Fuji live 15 million people in the urban sprawl of Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kawasaki. Another major urban strip packs 12 million people between Osaka and Kobe. The Japanese total 126 million. Cramped in cities, constricted by mountains, isolated by oceans, the Japanese present a unified culture that rivals the major economic powers of the world. Recent events have threatened some of that unity and stability, including a devastating earthquake in Kobe and a subway poison gas attack by the Aum Shinrikyo cult. Growing unemployment, economic recession, high-stress lifestyles, moral decline, and youthful rebellions against authority have left many Japanese disillusioned. Will the Shinto-Buddhist beliefs carry the Japanese through these trials? Despite many years of Western and Korean Christian presence, few Japanese have received Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Holy Spirit, open Japanese eyes to see Christ not as a foreign god, but the Savior of the world.
|Religion: Taoism, Animism, Atheism|
Rice paddies contour the terraced mountainsides; in the green valleys below, wheat, maize, potatoes, and tea trace colorful geometric patterns. Almost six million Tujia live in the semi-tropical forests of China's Hunan and Hubei provinces. A few in isolated areas still speak the Tujia language, but most are learning the languages of dominant cultures. The Tujia use song and dance to tell epic sagas and creation myths, expressing love and grief with the movement of their hands. Their embroidery, weaving, and quilting are objects of art. Ninety percent of the 1,000 students at Western Hebei University are Tujia. Might this be a door of opportunity for Christian teachers?
Lord of creation, redeem the Tujia festivals, so Tujia would know the joy of Christ and express their love for you through their dance and creative energy.
|Yao||Homeland: Vietnam, China|
|Religion: Animism, Atheism|
During spring planting, 20 or 30 Yao families gather together to plow and sow each other's fields. A young man stands in the field beating a drum and leading the workers in song. As with the Tujia, singing is a focus of Yao society. The Yao are skilled weavers and specialize in embroidered indigo cloth. Several people groups are included in the 2.7 million Yao, speaking different dialects and spread across the Asian continent. About half speak dialects of their own Chinese-Tibetan language, while the rest have adopted the languages of surrounding peoples. Traditionally farmers and hunters, their staple diet consists of tea leaves fried in oil and boiled into a thick, salty soup with puffed rice or soybeans. The Yao worship their ancestors as well as many gods, although atheistic communism has eroded much of their belief system. However, as many as 9,000 Yao know Jesus, although translation of a Yao Bible is incomplete.
Jesus, may every Yao village have a church which worships and glorifies you.
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