| · Chinese believers want to honour their Messiah
In the 1940s God spoke to several Chinese believers about spreading the Gospel starting with the western Chinese province of Xinjiang through Muslim countries all the way to Jerusalem. They called themselves “The Preach Everywhere Gospel Band”! Western missionaries called them “The Back to Jerusalem Evangelistic Band.”
Some of the spiritual roots of this movement can be traced to the 1920s “Jesus Family” group which targeted villages and preached the Gospel. They committed themselves to “sacrifice, abandonment, poverty, suffering and death” for the sake of the Gospel.
The “Back to Jerusalem Movement’s” first priority was to reach the following Chinese provinces: Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia in Central, Northern and Western China. Also included as target areas were Asia’s border countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Palestine. Upon reaching these areas, they intended to establish new believing groups while shepherding and reviving existing efforts. They decided to completely rely on God for finances for all their endeavours.
The movement did move into Western China in the 1950s and suffered great persecution and most of the believers were imprisoned. Simon Zhao, one of the early leaders was jailed for 31 years. Though Zhao entered prison as a young visionary, later he was released into a very different China as a gray-haired, elderly man with no friends. News of Zhao’s release spread, but it was not until six years later that church leaders began to seek him out.
Simon Zhao’s Death
Initially, Zhao did not share his vision for the “Back to Jerusalem” ministry with others. Instead he sought to encourage Chinese Christian leadership and pray. It was not until the 1990s that Zhao began to share his vision with a group of Chinese Christians to inspire them to carry on the vision God had given him over 50 years ago. He died in 2001 after another 15 years of ministry. During this time, several believers became burdened to pursue the “Back to Jerusalem Movement” once again.
Back to Jerusalem Today
Today, many Chinese Christians have the vision to reach western China and Muslim nations all the way back to Jerusalem. They believe that in the last days before Christ’s return, it is the duty of the Chinese church to take the Gospel back to Jerusalem in order to complete a full circle of the Gospel which was originally brought to them from the West.
“Hundreds of Chinese families are desiring to relocate to unreached regions of China,” reported a Chinese house-church leader. Some leaders hope to send out thousands of itinerant missionaries to reach the non-Han peoples of China and plant new congregations. Cross-cultural outreach is still very young in China, yet some believers are praying continually about their role in reaching the Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist nations with the Good News of the Kingdom.
- Worship the Lord, Proclaim the truths of Isaiah 66:18-23 in prayer. May God open doors for many Chinese to proclaim his glory among the nations.
- Some Chinese believers have already made courageous efforts to proclaim their faith cross culturally but the results have not always been positive. There is a huge need for effective and in depth cross cultural outreach training for those who want to take the Gospel to other peoples. Training is a major priority. Zeal is not enough.
Listen to the Podcast – DAY 24 – China’s Back to Jerusalem Movement