Religion: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, unaffiliated 52.2% Note: officially atheist
Language: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages Note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
Major urban areas: Shanghai 20.2 million; Beijing (capital) 15.6 million; Guangzhou 10.8 million; Shenzhen 10.6 million; Chongqing 9.9 million; Wuhan 9.1 million Note: 174 cities of over 500,000; 84 with over 1 million; 46 with over 2 million; 15 with over 5 million (Wikipedia)
Time difference: 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.6% Note: the Chinese government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups
Government type: Communist state
Major urban areas: 95.1%
Summary of China
A crisis brews for Christians in China. To the average observer, China is flourishing. With the world's biggest population, as well as the largest workforce with 803 million workers, China produces a monumental amount of the world's manufactured goods. Many believe that in ten years, China will overtake the United States as the world's largest economy. The 2008 Summer Olympics inspired many to believe that a new era has begun in China, where freedom reigns.
And yet the Chinese government maintains a firm grip on its citizens. A public demonstration of any kind can bring about a brutal government response. The Chinese government has strong regulations for legal Christian churches, so that the only place to freely worship is often found in house churches. The house churches must meet secretly, with Christians ever aware of the risks of being harassed, oppressed, imprisoned, tortured or even murdered for merely believing in the name of Jesus Christ.
(Used with permission from www.prayercast.com/china.html.)
(Statistical information taken from CIA World Factbook)
Far East Director
David & Jenny Harris
Read more about the Harris family.
He can be contacted through the BIMI office (423) 344-5050 ex. 2402.