Sign up for our free China-Africa Week in Review email newsletter
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow CAP on Social Media

Listen to the CAP Podcast

Finding God on the Belt and Road. Kenyan Missionaries are Converting Chinese Migrant Workers.

Christian missionaries in Kenya are finding a new source of converts among the immigrant Chinese population that came to the country to build infrastructure. Kenyan evangelists, some of whom speak fluent Mandarin, are discovering even though their religion and cultural backgrounds are completely different from those of the Chinese, they are nonetheless breaking through with a biblical message.

Although Kenya’s Christian community is extremely diverse, one group, in particular, appears to be having considerable success in converting Chinese migrants. Nairobi-based journalist April Zhu published a story in the South China Morning Post Sunday Magazine about how Jehovah’s Witnesses are attracting ever-larger numbers of Chinese converts.

April joins Eric from Beijing to discuss her report and what the implications are for those Chinese who do become Jehovah’s Witnesses and then later confront the reality of going back to China where practicing their religion is against the law.

Show Notes:

About April Zhu:

April Zhu (朱萸) is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work focuses on gender, cities, and land. More recently, she is interested in “China in Kenya” as seen from the margin.

Her byline has appeared in the CS Monitor, The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News), Broadly (VICE), BRIGHT Magazine, and The Elephant. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Studio Art from Wellesley College and speaks Swahili and Mandarin.

She is an artist and still occasionally shows work in Nairobi. Design work pays some bills.

You can reach her at aprzhu@gmail.com and @aprzhu.

What is The China-Africa Project?

Independent

The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.

News

A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.

Analysis

Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.

Networking

A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.