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People Group: Chinese immigrants to Africa

Across Africa, Chinese nationals are arriving to do business. Many are middle class people who have come to invest and make money, though some have been hired by other Chinese to work as labourers, factory workers, or even prostitutes. Most come to Africa only for limited periods of time or are highly mobile, traveling back and forth.

The presence of Chinese people in Africa has not been greeted positively across the board, with concerns arising over instances of corruption with local governments facilitating exploitative practices detrimental to the environment, natural resources, and the rights of local people. They arrive in Africa, however, as non-religious people who need Jesus.

Chinese people often consider religious people to be illogical and impractical. Practicality is a high value in Chinese culture, and working hard to make money and ensure stability is a common goal. Surprisingly, superstitions like lucky numbers and colours have a deep hold in Chinese thinking, and veneration and rituals related to the ancestors are ingrained in the culture. Belief in the spirit world is common, though not necessarily related to an organized religion.

Many Chinese individuals may hold prejudiced views toward Africans, but they can still be reached by Africans with the gospel. For many, the Christians whom they meet in Africa may be the only ones they ever meet, and our kindness may open their eyes to God’s love for them.


• China’s population was 1.4 billion in 2022, which means that there are about 28 million Christians, many in underground churches.

• China is one of the least religious countries in the world, but her people are still deeply involved in superstitious and spiritual practices.

• Youth camps, Sunday Schools, and other outreaches to young people are forbidden in China, and in some regions, children are not allowed to attend church.

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