The respected world evangelist and theologian Rev Stephen Tong will preach to Chinese in Japan this month. It is probably one of the most unprecedented trips made by Tong throughout his few decades of ministries.
On April 20-23, the "Chinese in Japan Evangelistic Gathering 2006" is going to be held at the Wesleyan Holiness Yodobashi Church in Tokyo with Tong as the main speaker. Co-organized by the Tokyo International Church and a Japanese Christian music fellowship Eurodia, the evangelistic gathering will address the theme "Who is Jesus".
Tong is known for his strong root in strict evangelical teachings and reformed theology. Being an experienced preacher to Chinese in many Asian countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, his footsteps have left in Europe, Australia, North and South America as well. His sermons have powerfully touched many souls, it is estimated that over millions people have converted to Christ in his evangelistic gatherings.
Going to Japan this time is expected to be very meaningful. Just as one of the other Southeast Asian countries where non-Christian faith dominate, Japan is under the influence of many religions. The Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan reported in 2003 that many people claim affiliation with multiple religious organizations, particularly Shintoism and Buddhism. Of citizens claiming a faith, 50.3 percent adhered to Shintoism, 44 percent to Buddhism, 4.7 percent to "other," and only 1 percent to Christianity.
With strong nationalism, 99 percent of the population in Japan is Japanese, according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). There are just over 200 thousands of Chinese, who maybe mostly overseas students, businessmen, and workers. Most of them have not learnt about Christian faith since they are from Mainland China. Chinese in Japan usually experience difficulties in life, particularly in terms of earning a living in the city with the world’s highest living standard. Since they have become more opened to accept a religion in overseas, there is a call to evangelism among Chinese in Japan.
Tokyo International Church provides an invitation card, which encourages Christians to invite Chinese non-believers to come for the gathering.
Tong is a member of the International Consultants of the Lausanne Committee of World Evangelization. He has delivered addresses in many international conferences as the keynote speaker. On March 9-10, he spoke on the World Congress for Christian Reformed in Johannesburg, South Africa.