It's an interesting question, and one I have a personal interest in since many of my relatives are missionaries (albeit in darkest London, in the case of my parents). I'm no longer a practising Christian but, having been brought up as one, I do have some sympathy with the way they think and act.
If you genuinely believe that God has called you to witness to folk who would otherwise end up in an eternity in Hell, then technicalities such as legality, how you obtain a visa and how you attract individuals with whom you can share your faith are not critical issues. You do what you have to, to save souls.
As it is, many Christians in Kunming are actively involved in bettering the physical lives of the poor, disabled and downtrodden. The fact that they also want to better their lives spiritually is understandable, even if you don't subscribe to their religious viewpoint.
Do they cause problems for other foreigners. Maybe. But not much, I suspect. And with places like the International Clinic providing a safety net for Christians and non-Christians alike, I'm often pretty happy they are here.
Magnifico, that is the part I have trouble with. They are outright deceiving these students, lying basically.
What irritates me the most: atheist missionaries. They spend so much time and energy talking against Christianity. Can't they just simply not believe in God?
Ocean, I understand you. But, isn't is sinful to deceive people to try to convert them?
I met an American girl in Beijing. She had grown up in a Christian background and she came to China to escape from it. And she seemed to be psychologically damaged as a result of her upbringing.
Going back to the original question. Probably not.
As for the drunk and disorderly, they probably do hurt us.
I agree with @ocean. I would argue it is not outright deceiving, as they come here to teach and try to introduce people to their faith. I dislike it, but coming from a religious background, no longer practicing either, I understand where they are coming from.
I would say that most Chinese are not bothered by people of faith. Many Chinese I know are looking for something, as they see a morality gap in the contemporary culture.
tiger, but would you agree that it is deceptive when a teacher is paid to teach English, but uses some of that paid time to try to preach, and ends up making the paying student uncomfortable?
What are you talking about man, are you really aware about what you saying, there are not any Muslim missionaries in China at all. Never happened and will never. Simply there are not big Churches who offer big punch of money for each person convert to Islam as it happened in the case of Christian missionaries. I had some American Christians friends who told me by details what is going on and what kind of organizations and NGO's beyond missionaries here .
I'm glad there's no bible preaching in the streets. No door-to-door Jehovah's Witnesses preaching. I had my fill of religion and MY conclusion is that religion is to keep you in chains through fear. If your religion makes you a better person then by all means practice it but don't impose it on others.
sounds like the op has already made up his mind, so whats the point of asking peoples aopinion. if the give a different one you just try to convinece them they are wrong. praps a better title for the trhead would hav e been 'I think missionaries hurt fortiengners. Who agrees?'. that would be more honest. Personly I think the china bashers do the most harm.