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Christian Faith Plus Chinese Productivity

At first glance, it looks as though it could be any other factory driving the rapid development of the Chinese economy. But this is no ordinary enterprise because here religious faith is as important as profit.

In fact, the owner of the Boteli Valve Group in Wenzhou would like to see all his staff convert to Christianity.

And such a factory is not a one-off: it is part of a growing number of businesses run by Christian entrepreneurs in one of China’s key enterprise zones, whose success is now being studied by the Chinese government.

As he shows me the production facilities, the factory’s general manager, Weng-Jen Wau, tells me that every month, $5m (£3m) worth of industrial valves are manufactured.

About 40% of the factory’s output is exported to businesses worldwide.

But he seems to have limited interest in the sales figures – he is far more concerned to tell me about the place his family’s Christian faith has in the life of the factory.

‘Better workers’

Every Monday morning, the senior managers gather together and pray about the business.

Once a week, members of staff are encouraged to attend an on-site Christian fellowship meeting, where they read the Bible and pray for each other.

Weng-Jen Wau believes that by encouraging increasing numbers of his staff to convert to Christianity, his business will prosper.

And he tells me that when staff do convert to Christianity, their attitude towards their work is transformed.

“If you’re a Christian you’re more honest, with a better heart,” he says. “The people who aren’t Christians aren’t responsible. I think it’s very different.

“I’m not saying those people who aren’t Christians are all bad, but from the percentage of the workers who are Christians, they seem to be more responsible.

“Also when they do things wrong, they feel guilty – that’s the difference,” he explains.

One of the workers I met who had recently converted to Christianity explained that he had known nothing about the religion before he started work at the factory.

BBC map

But he said that his new-found faith was now a source of daily inspiration.

He told me that he was now trying to convert his friends and colleagues to Christianity.

“If everybody became a Christian, it would have a very big impact, and would really help the development of our factory,” he said.

Work ethic

So I asked Mr Wau how much religion was a factor when he was recruiting new staff.

“Of course I would choose the Christians first, definitely,” he said.

Such comments could prompt accusations of discriminatory practice in some countries, but he had no doubt about the sort of impact Christianity could have on Chinese business.

“I think if all enterprises absorb this Christian culture, we will have a much more harmonious society,” he said.

There are obvious questions about whether the staff really have discovered Christianity, or whether they are simply responding pragmatically to a clearly defined vision for their company.

Those I met were keen to stress the significance of their new faith, and the lack of pressure to convert – though there was no disguising their bosses’ clear desire to boost Christian numbers in the workforce.

But the wider role of Christian entrepreneurs in the economic success of the Wenzhou private enterprise zone has not gone unnoticed by the Chinese government.

Far from being regarded as a religious oddity, the impact of Christian-run businesses is now being studied by Chinese government officials.

At the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, I met Professor Zhuo Xinping, Director of the Institute of World Religions.

He specialises in the study of Christianity’s growing influence in China – and has plenty to say about Wenzhou’s Christian entrepreneurs.

He tells me that the city was visited by substantial numbers of Western Christian missionaries during the 19th Century and thus has – by Chinese standards – a long history of Christian faith.

Today it has an unusually high number of Christians for a Chinese city – with some estimates suggesting Christians now make up 20% of the population.

But what really interests him is the way in which the growth of Christianity and economic prosperity have happened side by side.

The Boteli Valve Group in Wenzhou, China
Image captionThe factory has a monthly output worth $5m

He tells me that Chinese researchers are considering whether in Western history there is a link between economic prosperity and Protestant Christianity – and they are questioning what that might mean for today’s China.

“It’s very important to find the secret of social development, the so-called potential forces for a nation,” he says.

“When it comes to Western countries, the majority Chinese understanding is that this potential force is Protestant Christianity.”

Christian faith may sound like an unlikely component in China’s future economic success.

But the notion that newfound faith can inspire a workforce to increased levels of productivity is being taken seriously not only by Christian businessmen, but by China’s Communist – and officially atheist – leaders

Prophecy: The Lord Is Opening Doors for Kingdom-Minded Businesses

This prophecy is by Dr. Steve Greene. He is the publisher and executive vice president–Media Group, Charisma Media

While writing my Greenelines blog early this morning, I stopped to answer an email and was nudged to open a new writing window and began to type this fresh word for several readers today. I don’t know for whom, but I believe the specificity of the word will call you out. Your spirit will bear witness.

“As you grow closer to Me, I will draw nearer to your business. If I am Lord of your life, I will be Lord of your business. I long for your business to honour Me as I rain down upon it.

How do we glorify God

The increase that I will give you is coming. This season of growth will be like none other you have experienced. New doors will open to a new people. You will think new thoughts and do a fresh work. Others have not done this work. Behold! I give you a new path. You’ve been walking the path I intended for others. This new path is your path.

Know that I will be with you as you move with the gifts and specific knowledge I have given to you.

Do not look to the left or to the right, but along the path I will direct. Set your eyes upon Me, and I will do what I have promised.

Do not try to be like others or join others along their paths. This is a new thing that I intend for you. The path is blessed. Your gifts will be multiplied as you lead others along this way. This is a path of business that I have birthed in you. I will bless others through you as you travel this path. Fear not, for I am saying to you on this day, in this way, that I have prepared hearts and minds to receive you and this new work.

My words will not surprise you today. Lead the people I have given to you with this fresh anointing. I am in this work. I will bless many through you. This is the word of the Lord.”

There is no doubt God will bless you as you draw nearer to Him, so if you spend time in His word and in prayer you can expect improvement not only in your business but your life as a whole.


Alex Cook of Wealth with Purpose and WezHone of Business Greenhouse tackle this important issue in this Christian Wealth video.

It’s high on the enemy’s agenda to break our businesses. The enemy knows how to take this down, and the destructive results (in our lives) when he keeps it down. We need to battle in faith and in prayer. We need to uphold our businesses against the enemy’s work. Take dominion over (full authority) over our businesses.

A pastor who understands the importance of marketplace ministry

The “light turns on” for Pastor Fred Hartley when he realizes marketplace ministry is as important as his own ministry.

Pastors need to train their members to live out their call from God to be ministers in the marketplace.

Pastor Fred Hartley  decided to do something about it. Check out the video