Washington Post: Chinese Christians aim to evangelize Muslim world
Although today is the dawn of the Chinese New Year, most people are unaware that Chinese Christians are gearing up to be the world's most potent missionary force.
China? Christians? Sure enough. For decades now they've had plans to evangelize the Muslim world that lies along the old Silk Road route. This could be one of the most ambitious missionary enterprises in 2,000 years of Christianity. No national church has amazed the world as much as that of the Chinese. From 1 million at the time of the Communist takeover in 1949, it's grown to 100 million followers, a breathtaking growth in 60 years.
Evangelical Chinese Christians have come up with a way to evangelize a large portion of the world that will never see a western missionary. These are countries with large Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu populations, most of them located somewhere along a 7,000-mile route stretching from Xian in central China to the cities of Jerusalem, Antioch and Istanbul in the Middle East. Those were the ancient terminuses of the famous Silk Road.
Mission experts estimate there are some 2 billion people in these countries who've never heard of Christianity. And what nationality has businesses and enterprises in every nation on the Earth? And which is the most populous country with the fastest-growing church? Starting several decades ago, Chinese Christians began to strategize how to secretly plant churches along this Silk Road through an initiative called the Back to Jerusalem movement. The idea was to start businesses in countries from India to Iran that would never suspect that the Chinese grocer or restaurant owner down the street would like to convert them.
In the past 20 years, preparations to send teams to these countries has ramped up considerably. ...