Closed Countries and populations present a challenge to Harvest Workers. Here's a little bit about why.
The history of Ancient China can be traced back over 4,000 years. Located on the eastern part of the continent of Asia, today China is the most populous country in the world. Throughout most of China's history it was ruled by powerful families called dynasties. The last Dynasty, the Qing, ended after a localized military uprising, called the Wuchang Uprising, began on 10 October 1911 and soon spread. The Republic of China was proclaimed on 1 January 1912, ending 2,000 years of dynastic rule.
Political and military unrest have marked the history of the country. In 1949, the Communist Party of China took control of mainland China and even though power struggles have continued, the Communist Party has a firm hold on the government. The Government is officially “atheist” but allowed religions to participate in society under very strict government regulations.
Social scientists have observed the rise of a spiritual vacuum, following decades of unprecedented economic growth. Modern China has emerged as a wealthier and more educated society with renewed interest in religion. Consequently, experts say that as the CCP’s ideology loses public traction, Christian churches, official and unofficial, appear to be filling some of this void. This has presented a challenge to the Communist Government and religious freedom has seen serious restrictions in recent years including the ban of online sales of Bibles and the closure of Churches.
Missionary activity in China is highly regulated and many impediments are placed in the way of evangelism and church planting.
Because of the high levels of government restriction on religion in the Middle East, many missionaries who are led to reach Islamic populations do so outside these Middle Eastern nations. For example, the Jesus Films project sends people to the various countries where people from the Middle East vacation in order to make contact and present the truth of the Bible. Other organizations work with immigrant populations from Islamic countries once they are established in a new area of residence.
98.5 % of the 126 million people in Japan are ethnic Japanese and the island is the 2nd most populous island country. Although the vast majority of the people identify Shinto as the indigenous religion, studies have suggested that 70-80 percent of Japanese do not consider themselves believers in any religion.
They do, however, participate in Shinto festivals, and Taoism and Confucianism from China have also influenced Japanese beliefs and customs.
Although Christianity was introduced into Japan by Jesuit missions starting in 1549, today fewer than 3% of the people are Christians. The country’s Constitution allows for full religious freedom, so there are no legal impediments to evangelism and church planting.
Officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, it is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest country in the world in terms of square miles. It spans 2 continents – the eastern parts located in Asia and the most western parts in Europe.
The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic groups and empires including the Persian and Mongolian Empires. The Russian Empire occupied all of the country in the 19th century and it ultimately became part of the Soviet Union
Kazakhstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and although it is officially a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic, “Human Rights Watch” says the government heavily restricts freedom of assembly, speech, and religion.
Islam is the largest religion in Kazakhstan with 70% of the population identifying as Muslim, followed by Orthodox Christianity with 26%.
Officially the Kyrgyz Republic, it is a landlocked country in located in Central Asia. Although geographically isolated by its highly mountainous terrain, which has helped preserve its ancient culture, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road and other commercial and cultural routes
The country was taken over and dominated by the Soviet Union and during Soviet times, state atheism was encouraged. Kyrgyzstan attained its independence in 1991
Today, Kyrgyzstan is a Parliamentary Republic and considered a secular state, although Islam has exerted a growing influence in politics. Recent studies show that close to 90 percent of the population identify as Muslim. Christian organizations working in the country have noted that the government heavily restricts missionary activity and the distribution of their religious literature.