After Sam Walton (the founder of Wal-Mart and a staunch supporter of American companies and values) died, his heirs and company leaders rapidly abandoned American manufacturers in favor of Chinese. At least 200,000 Americans have lost their jobs to Chinese workers slaving in factories all day every day making items for Wal-Mart. And why? So we can buy cheaper stuff with our ever-diminishing incomes.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart and the Communist government in China are laughing all the way to the bank. Estimates place the amount of income to China’s coffers from sales of goods at Wal-Mart at $27 billion a year in 2006 and growing at 20 percent a year.
The fact that we continue to help Wal-Mart line the pockets of the godless Chinese dictators should give us all pause. Especially Christians.
China is an atheist state and its leaders wish to keep it that way. To the dictators in China, genuine Christian revival threatens their stranglehold on the people. For this reason (and others connected to the dictators’ general hate for Christianity), persecution of born-again Christians continues to rise in China.
While China maintains an approved form of “Christian” church, that form is run by the state, a staunchly atheistic organization. The founding fathers of America wisely understood the reason that the state must stay out of the Church, but China has no such self-imposed limits. Any fellowship of Christians that does not bow the knee to the approved doctrine and will of the dictators is threatened with violence.
Voice of the Martyrs, a highly respected Christian organization that tracks the persecuted Church around the world, tracks abuses by the Chinese Communists against born-again Christians who refuse to join the compromised state “church.” Their figures show an increasing crackdown on freedom of worship and the house church movement responsible for the great revival China is experiencing.
Let all of us who call ourselves Christians understand that our brothers and sisters in China are beaten, tortured, and jailed for their faith. We can not only support them with our prayers, but by wiser choices in the goods we purchase (and the sheer amount of purchases we make). Hitting the Communist leaders in their wallets is one way to advance the cause of religious freedom in China.
We must also recognize that our lust for cheap goods poses a threat to China in other ways. As more and more factory work is shipped to China, people are sent to work in factories fifteen or sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. Missionaries are reporting that this slave labor is cutting into the revival going on in China as more and more people have less and less time available to devote to issues of the soul. Working people till they drop has a deleterious effect on the advancement of the Church in China.
We must also acknowledge that Wal-Mart is not the only source of Chinese goods in this country, though they are one of the largest. Their race to the bottom of prices has also forced the hands of thousands of other companies that have had to move their production to China to compete. While Wal-Mart is not the only player in this game, the company has helped create this mess and continues to foist it on us.
But we can say no.
Those of us who consider ourselves Christians must seriously consider whether our dollars are going to persecute our brethren in Christ in China. We need a gut check about the items we purchase and whether we wish to continue to tacitly support persecution just so we can have more cheap stuff.
The picture at left is of Jiang Zongxiu, killed for distributing Bibles. She’s just one of many Christians in China who paid the ultimate price for her faith. Or read the story of the torture of Lin Mei. The crime? Singing Christian hymns and telling others about Jesus.
The cost of doing business with Chinese leaders who hate everything Christians stand for is simply too high. Those of us who call ourselves born-again Christians must call for the end of this kind of treatment. We must stop funding a nation that encourages violence against our fellow Christians.
We can do that by boycotting Chinese-made products. And one of the best ways to do so is to stop buying them from companies that continue to do business with China.
And that includes Wal-Mart.