Gazing at a map of China, one might observe that it is shaped like a chicken and Hunan Province is situated in its belly. The province is the largest producer of rice and the second largest producer of tea. With a population of more than 64 million people, Hunan’s cities are densely populated. Hunan is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and by the Yangtze River in the north. The western areas are home to some ethnic minorities, but 96 percent of Hunan’s people are Han Chinese.
Hunan’s greatest claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Chairman Mao. He is still revered as a god. Every year, millions of people visit Shao Shan, just a short distance from the provincial capital of Changsha, to pay homage
at the home of the deceased leader. Hunan was the last major province entered by missionaries at the close of the 19th century, as the people were ercely anti-foreigner. Hudson Taylor believed that Christianity would enter Hunan through the northern port of Yueyang city. He said, “One must enter Hunan on their knees”.
Hunan supported the Cultural Revolution, and was slower than most provinces in adopting later reforms. Many believed Christianity would never get a foothold in Hunan. Hunan is possibly China’s most spiritually resistant Han population, with less than one percent Christian. Fewer than three in ten people know enough about Christ to accept or reject Him. Most are cut o from God by ignorance; living in darkness, without hope.
Hunan people speak a distinct dialect, making it hard for outsiders to understand their spoken Chinese. Although this is a barrier to the Gospel, it does not mean that God is not able to reach them! Hunan also has a rich history of free thinkers. God would be delighted to use Hunan to give birth to His revolutionary ideas.
- Pray that the stronghold of Chairman Mao will be broken and that people will realize that he was just a man, not a god.
- Pray that more and more Hunan Christians will
be bold in sharing their faith with those around them who speak the same language and have the same background.
- Ask God to bring the Christians of Hunan to their knees, praying for revival in their province, for unity of believers, and for protection from cults. Pray that they will be willing to stand in the gap for the many non-believers.