CHINA: Christian Chief Executives

China is officially an atheistic country, where some local officials still persecute religious dissenters:  However at least 30 CEOs of major Chinese companies have become Christians. They even conduct Bible studies within their companies.

Their stories are fascinating. One executive in his 40s, Mr. Han explained in his conference room that he came from a poor, rural family: His father died when he was 12, and he often went hungry. The future CEO "studied very hard to change the situation of my family," scored high on tests, entered Beijing University, and went on to garner a grand salary.

Han was an atheist who thought that "only rural grandmas believe in God." By the end of 1999, he "had enough money for my whole life" but "had emptiness and suffering within me. I thought, maybe I will become happy by starting my own business."

Han did that and made even more money, but his depression became deeper. He tried burning incense at a Buddhist temple and felt a little better, but misery quickly returned. For six months, he paid a top Taoist sage to give him a schedule each month with favourable and unfavourable blocks of time and tried to arrange his meetings accordingly -- only to find that some at the good times went poorly, and some he was forced to have at bad times went well.

In 2002, a classmate who had studied in the United States suggested that Han visit a church. He and his wife did, and she immediately became a believer but he "tried to keep awake in the pew and could not." By August, 2003, he was "very depressed. Only when I was cornered and understood that man's end is dust did I become serious about reading the Bible. Then Irealized that my preconceptions were wrong, that belief in God is not unscientific, that by myself, I don't know where I'm from and where I'm going."

Han became a Christian and found his new faith changing not only personal but business practice: "As a company we pay our taxes strictly and honestly; we treat our employees with love and pay them in a timely fashion."  Those practices are unusual in China."

Other Chinese CEOs have their own stories.  As one CEO Mr. Wang related, "I begged God, what shall I do? For the first time, I prayed from the bottom of my heart." One manager, who once was a Communist party member attests to the ways Wang's company is different from state-owned ones and others where "bribery is common." He says CEOs who become Christians no longer have mistresses or win contracts by proffering prostitutes to customers. These Chinese executives see Christianity bringing immediate as well as long-term benefits, but they do not preach a "prosperity gospel."  In fact Wang's company lost a large order it needed for profitability because he refused to pay a bribe, an act some of Wang's financial backers think is foolish.

Source: World Magazine

Tuesday, November 21, 2006   printer friendly version | 8144 reads