Why the Silk Road? Why now? This region is very special. Throughout most of history it has been the center of the world. Culture, ideologies, and religions all intermingled along its pathways. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Confucianism can all credit their spread because of the Silk Road.
However, that was a long time ago. What about today? Why the significance now? To answer this we must understand the concept of a "closed country" when it comes to Gospel work. Make no mistake, Silk Road Mission exists for one reason: To take the Gospel to the peoples and nations along the Silk Road. Not every country in that purview is completely open to missionaries or Christians. A "closed country" is just that, a country that has closed its doors to overt Gospel work. Many places along the road fall into that category.
According to Open Doors, the worst offenders in the region are: - North Korea (#1) - Afghanistan (#3) - Pakistan (#4) - Syria (#6) - Iraq (#7) - Iran (#8) - Yemen (#9) - Saudi Arabia (#14) - India (#15)
Now, these rankings are based on many things but first among them is governmental obstruction of the Gospel. So for many Gospel Workers, these countries are closed off in some way. Yet, the Silk Road is providing an avenue for the spread of the Gospel once again.
In 2014, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) named the Chang'an Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road as a World Heritage Site. The first of its kind for the organization. This is a massive recognition not only for the countries along the corridor but also for the tourism trade in those communities. What does that mean? It means that countries which have previously been off the map for tourists are now gearing their tourism markets to bring in more and more people from all over the world.
The church can use this as a means of getting into these countries. We, the Silk Road Mission, plan on doing just that. Leveraging this unique time in history to take the Gospel to the unreached along the Silk Road.
Will you send us?