Buddhist cults + Christian cults + animistic Buddhism + anti-cult propoganda + anti-Christian propoganda. What does that equal? The sum knowledge of the average Chinese citizen about true Christians is the result.
Most people think they know what Buddhism is. The only problem is, there are many variants, and almost all of them include idol worship, which is technically a big no-no in Buddhism. In truth, Buddhism has blended with existing local beliefs to creates thousands of variations of "Buddhism," which is referred to as animistic Buddhism. The Dong's religious practices usually fall somewhere in that spectrum.
In addition to animistic Buddhism, there are plenty of cults in China: Buddhist cults, Christian cults, and others. The government has a very tough campaign against these cults, and though their methods are often called into question, there is no doubt most of these cults have a serious negative effect on the Chinese people.
The problem arises in the confusion between cult and truth. The anti-cult propoganda is often not clear about the existence of non-cultic groups. Therefore, the Christians--this is especially common in the countryside areas of China, like where the Dong live--are seen as "one of those cults we heard about."
The result of the above influences causes much grief for the Dong Christians and a barrier to the spread of the Gospel. Cults have disrupted and twisted the truth of Christ since the first century of the Church, but prayer to God can make a difference. We need to bring these issues to God in prayer.
Our Lord Jesus, you are the truth. No cult, no false teaching, no humanly wisdom can change who you are and who you will always be. You are the I AM. May your name be praised.
In the authority of your name, we ask for the Christians to be known for who they are, followers of the True One. Please open the eyes of those around them to see their love as a clear testimony of something different and something truly heavenly. Use that witness to declare to more people the good news of salvation out of sin and a way to eternal life.