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All articles in category Asia

November 2017
Articles > World Mission > Asia

Increased persecution in the Maldives

Christians in the Maldives have few rights, but until now at least the courts would protect those rights. Now, however, the government is increasingly controlling the courts and simply ignoring the law, leaving Christians in an even more vulnerable state. The Maldivian government has just suspended one-third of all lawyers in the islands, after they tried to submit a petition to the Supreme Court calling for the rule of law to be respected. The 56 lawyers who signed the petition were suspended from practising by the government. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the Maldives is one of the most difficult places in the world to be...

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November 2017
Articles > Asia > Mongolia

Building for the future in Mongolia

Welcome to Mongolia: a country with as many people as Wales, spread across an area four times the size of Germany and almost seven times the size of the UK! Perhaps you’ve never noticed Mongolia on a map, enveloped by borders with Russia and China, and yet it’s time to start taking note of this often-ignored land. Big changes While notions of Mongolia as a nation defined by its history are common (the Mongol empire being the largest connected land empire in history), change is afoot. Since the fall of communism and the peaceful revolution of 1990, scores of people have migrated to the cities...

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April 2017

Education crisis for Pakistan’s Christian community

A recent survey, released by UK charity Starfish Asia, highlights the dire state of education for the downtrodden Christian community in Pakistan. Conducted in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the survey covered 604 schools for 85,000 poor children. It revealed that four out of five teachers have no teaching qualification, 10 per cent of schools have no blackboards, and 24 per cent of class-2 children have no textbooks, notebooks or pencils. The survey focuses on low-cost, private schools which educate 5 million of Christian background in Pakistan. UNESCO has already highlighted the extent of the nation’s education crisis, saying that Pakistan has ‘some of the worst education...

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January 2017

Nepal’s most unlikely church planter (2)

The outcast — ‘hated by his gods’, despised by his village, a disgrace to his family — was now embraced by Jesus Christ (see ET, December 2016). His reputation as a thug was infamous, and rumours of his transformative conversion spread quickly. Suraj’s mother could not believe the change. She wanted to meet the pastor of the church to tell him, ‘My son was dead, you made him alive’: words of high praise from an orthodox Hindu woman with a lifelong suspicion of ‘cow-eaters’ [Christians]. ‘The despair I felt in my life before Christ, all those suicidal thoughts, were replaced by a joy and delight...

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December 2016

Nepal’s most unlikely church-planter (1)

Down the valley from Kathmandu, the ancient capital of Nepal, rests an even older city. In Bhaktapur, the timeworn traditions of Hinduism sink as deep into the dry soil as the white-capped Himalayan mountains rise in the background. Bhaktapur looks like it was built one brick at a time. Narrow, brick-paved city streets are lined on both sides by three-story brick buildings, built into each other over time to become a continuous wall of homes and stores. An occasional small tractor or motorcycle putters slowly by, joined for a few steps by a wandering goat or chicken or dog. Delivery men on bicycles snake through...

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November 2016

God’s plan in a TB sanatorium

While serving with Operation Mobilisation in India in 1967, tuberculosis forced me into a sanatorium for several months. I did not yet speak the language, but I tried to give Christian literature written in their own language to patients, doctors and nurses. Being an international seminary student in America, and studying the Protestant Reformation in Germany, as well as more recent church history in England and America, made me realise how little I know about the Reformation in my own country of Finland. Everyone refused — some politely, some rudely. I sensed many weren’t happy about an American (to them, all Americans are rich) being...

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September 2016

Progress in theological education in Minsk

Next year I will be 40. The middle-age crisis will not necessarily hit me too hard, but I have begun asking questions like, ‘What have I been doing for the last 20 years?’ Basically, I have been striving in one direction in everything I have done. I have wanted to try to help recover theological thinking to its rightful place in Belarus church life, and also to help remove the word ‘theology’ from the list of religious ‘swear words’ here. Have I succeeded? Not yet! But at least I now have a couple of friends who share my vision for theological education in my country....

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July 2016

Grace Ministerial Academy, Philippines

31 March 2016 was a special day for Grace Ministerial Academy (GMA), as nine men completed four years of study in the academy. They came from various locations in the Philippines, and most will be returning to the churches they are from, although some will take up pioneering work in different situations. GMA is a ministry of Cubao Reformed Baptist Church, which is located in Quezon City, a very busy and bustling part of Metro-Manila. The academy has been training men for the ministry for at least 20 years. Faculty We are greatly blessed to have Pastor Noel Espinosa as our principal and main lecturer....

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