Recently featured in an article on BBC Asia was the Boteli Valve Group based in China. The Group have a monthly output of $5 million (£3 million), but the company’s director is more worried about the faith of his workers than the profit of his company.
Although the employees work under the customary symbols of the aetheist Chinese communist state, every Monday morning the senior managers get 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.
Company director Weng-Jen Wau believes that as a result the attitudes of the workforce have been transformed.
Far from being a one-off, there are a growing number of businesses run by Christian entrepreneurs in one of China’s key enterprise zones. Their success is now being studied by the Chinese government. Professor Zhuo Xinping, Director of the Institute of World Religions, tells the BBC journalist 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.
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.