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Comparing Confucianism and Christianity

Confucianism
Christianity
Beginnings Confucianism was started by Confucius, who lived in China from about 550 to 479 B.C. Confucius did not claim to be a god, but after his death, some of his followers worshipped him. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, His followers were first called “Christians” in the days of Paul (Acts 11:26). Christians follow Christ and worship Him as the Son of God, who came to save the world (John 3:16,17).
Books Respected writings include The Analects, a collection of sayings made by Confucius’ followers, and five books called The Five Classics. Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Teachings Confucius did not talk much about God or about human’s relationship to God. Instead he mostly tried to teach people how to get along with each other. The Bible teaches about God’s love for people and about how God reconciled people to Him through His Son Jesus. (See Romans 5:8–11 and 2 Corinthians 5:18–21.)
Sin Confucianism teaches that people can be good by their own efforts if they just follow rules of good conduct. The Bible teaches that humans have a sin problem that can only be solved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Influence Not many people today would call themselves “Confucianists.” However, the teachings still have a strong hold on many in Asia. Self-discipline and other Confucian teachings may have helped many Asians become successful by worldly standards. Pray they will also seek knowledge of God’s eternal standards. The percentage of Christians in countries where there is a strong Confucian influence is as follows: China 7%, Japan 2%, Vietnam 8%, South Korea 32%, North Korea 2%.

China: The Secret Schoolroom

China

Every day, about 15,000 people in China become Christians. The new Christians would like to teach their children about Jesus. But they don’t know how! When the parents were children, many of them had never even heard of Jesus.

The Bible tells us that children should be taught about God and encouraged to come to Jesus. (See Deuteronomy 6:4–7 and Luke 18:16). But in some parts of China, officials say children under 18 must not be taught about God and Jesus.

“Where can they learn?” two Christian couples with children asked God and each other.

God answered the parents’ prayers. The principal of the school that their children attended was a Christian, and she was willing to keep a secret. She knew a few other Christian parents with the same problem. She figured out a way for the children to learn Bible stories.

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Kids of Courage: 2006 Top Ten Bold Believers Stories

Nigeria

Note: To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this Web site and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes are edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.

The following stories are about kids and families who bravely continued to serve the Lord in the face of struggles or danger. As you read the stories, please pray for these Christians and also for thousands of others around the world who face similar struggles.

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China: Youth Prepare for Risky Missions

China

Some Christian youth in China attend a very unusual school. One thing that makes it so different is that the principal does not come to school very often. Another thing is that the students stay at the school for up to a year and rarely go outside. This school also has a prayer room where students sit or kneel to pray on mats on the floor.

The school is a secret training school for future evangelists and pastors. The students range in age from 16 to 20. They are required to complete the ninth grade before the school accepts them as students.

In China, Christian training is illegal for anyone under 18. Any Christian activity outside the “official church” is not approved by the authorities. The school is not part of the state-approved church.

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China

China

China

RESTRICTED

Capital
Beijing

Size
China has more people than any other country in the world. In area, it is the fourth largest country.

Main Languages
Chinese

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 8:00 p.m. in Beijing.

Interesting Fact
China covers enough territory to have many time zones. But the government wants everyone to officially use Beijing time. In Kashgar, a city in western China, the sun can rise after 9:00 a.m. in the winter according to Beijing time. Sunset can be as late as 10:00 p.m. in the summer. So people from the Uygur ethnic group in Kashgar follow their own unofficial time.

History
In 1949, communists took over the government of China. They tried to get rid of Christianity. It was against the law to spread the Good News of Jesus. Few Chinese people owned Bibles.

Religion
About half the people in China are not part of any religion. About 40% are Buddhist or followers of traditional Chinese religions. Less than 10% are Christian.

Persecution
The majority of Chinese Christians worship in house churches that are not approved by the government. In some parts of China, police raid house churches, arrest Christians, and take away Bibles. But millions of people are coming to Christ every year.