Five Pictures Of China Today, November 2017
The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) published on its website an article around the time of the 19th party Congress which pointed out some revealing statistics concerning China. The article was not about China’s politics, but rather gave insights into the ordinary Chinese and their lives today. It contained five graphs with some additional comments, under the title: “Five charts about the fortunes of the Chinese family.” Its target was to show how growth in the Chinese economy has or has not impacted the average Chinese person or family.
Graph one related to marriage and divorce. The graph showed there are 16% fewer marriages, but divorces had increased by 16% over the last four years. In spite of that, “"China has always had and is still having a much lower divorce rate than US and western European countries.”
Prayer: Pray for Christian marriage teaching ministries and counselling ministries to increase in areas where divorce is becoming more common in China.
The second graph discussed China’s army of leftover men – pointing out that there are 114 men for every 100 women in China today, a direct result of the one child policy. BBC referred to a Chinese businessman who had paid RMB$7 million to try and find a wife, but had failed!
Prayer: Pray with imagination for men like that businessmen who seek a wife, but cannot find one. Equally pray for young Christian women who cannot easily find suitable brothers in Christ to marry,
The third graph observed that Chinese millennial’s are twice as likely to own a home as their American peers - and more than twice as likely than millennials in the UK or Australia. That is because of the danger of not finding a wife as the traditional Chinese requirement is that the man should provide a home for his prospective bride.
Prayer: Pray for believers in China to go a different route than this secular pattern, and to seek first partners who love the Lord, and who will together seek to build homes for eternity!
The fourth graph points out that for every 100 people in China, there are 97 cell phone subscriptions! So there are almost as many phones in China as there are people! Behind that of course lies the WeChat phenomenon, whereby folks choose to live their lives inside WeChat, whether making hospital appointments, paying bills, ordering food or writing messages and emails.
Prayer: Pray for Christian ministries to see the changes needed in methods of evangelism as China continues its astonishing IT advances.
The fifth graph was concerned with Chinese parents spending money to educate their children overseas. In 2010 there were 285,000 Chinese students studying overseas; by 2016 that figure had risen to 540,000 students. Interestingly, a significantly large proportion of the students return to China after finishing their education. BBC commented: “This rapidly growing pool of Chinese graduates with international degrees and experience of living abroad will make the next generation of Chinese business and government leaders ‘very international in their thinking and understanding of other cultures, which will be increasingly important as China assumes the mantle of the world's largest economy in about a decade.’"
Prayer: Pray that amongst those students studying overseas, many would come to a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ, and receive His call to return to China to excel in their chosen fields and also to lead many others to faith in Him.