The Light on the Silk Road

Nearly 60 years ago Dr. Robert Finley went to China. At that time, he found there were fewer than one million Chinese who called themselves Christian – and of those, less than half were truly born-again believers. Then, in 1949 the communists took over, and all foreign missionaries were expelled from the country.

But just about the same time as Dr. Finley´s departure from China 60 years ago, and unbeknownst to Finley or any other Western missionary, Chinese indigenous missionaries had already begun a very long walk. Traveling along the Silk Road from eastern China, they walked over 1,000 miles before reaching the western province of Xinjiang (meaning "new frontier"). It was the original homeland of Turks who were driven westward by the Mongolians in the 13th century. This area is populated with the Uyghur people who speak a Turkic language, common along the Silk Road extending as far as modern day Turkey. These dedicated Chinese Christians evangelized with passion, as they risked their lives under communism, spreading the gospel light along this part of the Silk Road.

Because of the fervor of indigenous missionaries like these, and their establishment of underground "house churches," Christianity is spreading throughout all Asia and now (60 years later) it is estimated that there are over 100 million Christians in China alone.

For the past ten years Christian Aid has assisted these indigenous missionaries in their outreach to Chinese Muslim Turks in Xingiang. Many Christians believe that in God´s time the gospel light will move back to Jerusalem via the Silk Road.