About - International
In 1865, James Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission (CIM) and prayed for “Willing, skillful workers” to join him. With just £10, and “all the promise of God” he prayed consistently, and god met all his needs.
In 1866 Hudson Taylor, his wife children and 16 missionaries left English for China. Eager to reach the inland provinces of China with the gospel, the mission called people to prayer and sent out a total of 2,680 workers to China throughout the late nineteenth century till 1950. Hudson believed the gospel would only take root if missionaries were willing to identify with the culture of the people they wanted to reach. The 2,680 workers learnt the local language and culture, they lived their life as a living testimony to the people and still witnessing to Christians now.
Now as OMF, we believe that too. 156 years on, our work continues with the same pioneering spirit. The same vision. The same desire to see an authentic Christian witness flourish in China and beyond across East Asia. In partnership with local churches, worldwide.
- The percentage of the population living in urban areas has increased from 20% in 1980 to over 60% in 2019.
- With 2m people migrating to the cities each year the urban population in China is expected to reach one billion by 2030.
A Diverse Region
There are as many as 292 living languages in China. While Mandarin is the official national language Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, Zhuang and various other languages are also regionally recognized throughout the country.
The Zhonghua Minzu (Chinese nation) is comprised of 56 distinct ethnic groups.The Han Chinese make up more than 90% of the population. The 55 ethnic groups found in the region include Zhuang, Hui, Manchu, Yughur, Mao, Yi, Yujia, Tibetan, Mongol etc.
The Belt and Road
China’s Belt & Road Initiative is probably the largest investment project in history. China describes The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a “brand of cooperation”, characterised by peace, openness, inclusiveness and shared development. As of 2018, The BRI included agreements with 122 countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative is inspired by the ancient Silk Road trade routes. These included the “Maritime Silk Road”, which were shipping routes to Africa and Southeast Asia. They also included the overland routes, which stretched through northwest China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa.
The Silk Road regions of China and Central Asia have been highways of trade, commerce and cultural exchange since the Silk Road first began, over twenty centuries ago. As well as tea, spices and silk, Silk Road traders brought new technologies and religious faith with them. Buddhism, Islam and Christianity all entered the region along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. This region is now home to over 10 different Muslim people groups, each with their own language, culture and traditions. You can learn more about Muslims in East Asia here.
We long to see the people of the ancient Silk Road regions blessed by the abundant love of God.
The Mekong River flows from China, along the borders of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, through Cambodia & Vietnam. Many different people groups live in the areas through which the river flows.
The diversity of peoples within the Mekong region is visible through the tremendous range of languages and cultures represented between them.
- Non-religious 44.4%
- Chinese religions 28.5%
- Buddhist 12.5%
- Christian 5.3%
- Traditional ethnic religions 4.6%
- Muslim 1.9%
The dominant worldview is shaped by a blend of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. Muslim minority peoples number 20 million. It is illegal to teach religion to anyone under 18.