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All articles in category Eastern Asia

Missionary Spotlight-Japan
December 2000
Japan

Missionary Spotlight-Japan

Protestant churches Protestant missionaries came to Japan from the United States and Britain during the later nineteenth century, with a clear understanding of the gospel and a zeal for evangelising the Japanese. They learnt the language and translated the Bible into Japanese, along with other Christian literature. Many people were converted to Christ. The first Protestant church was founded in 1872, and Christianity was no longer a proscribed religion from 1873. But during the early 20th century, intensely nationalistic Japanese governments became increasingly hostile to Christianity. This culminated in the passing of the Religious Organisations Law of 1939, which deprived foreign missionaries of the leadership...

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Missionary Spotlight-Japan
December 2000
Japan

Missionary Spotlight-Japan

From Buddha to Jesus I was born into a staunchly Buddhist and Shinto family. When I was three years old, my mother tried to teach me a long Buddhist prayer, but I made so many mistakes that she often scolded me and punished me by making me go without breakfast. Once a year in the winter my father, a stonemason, went up a mountain to a hot spring and sometimes took me with him. After warming up, we would go to the waterfall, with little clothing on, and recite Buddhist prayers under the icy-cold water. When I was 12 years old, my best friend suddenly...

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Missionary Spotlight-Taiwan
February 2000
Taiwan

Missionary Spotlight-Taiwan

Taiwan’s churches under pressure The Protestant church in Taiwan grew particularly during the final part of the nineteenth century as a result of missionary endeavour. From the 1890s, Taiwan was colonised by Japan, who controlled it into the first half of the twentieth century and throughout two world wars. As time wore on, Japanese persecution of the church increased and Western missionaries had to leave the country. When the missionaries returned after the Second World War, they found that the church had endured much suffering, yet had grown amongst the aboriginal tribes. This growth continued until the 1960s, by which time many aboriginal people were...

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February 2000
Taiwan

Missionary Spotlight – Taiwan Fact File

Taiwan Fact File Area – 13,900 square miles. Previously known as Formosa, it is about 100 miles from the Chinese mainland. It comprises the island of Taiwan, and the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy islands.   Environment – A tropical climate, with typhoons during the monsoon season (June to August). Forested mountains (highest point 13,113 ft) run the length of Taiwan. There is a broad, fertile plain to the west.   Population – 22 million, mainly living in the western coastal plain, one of the most crowded parts of the world.   Urbanisation – 74%.   Life expectancy – 77 years.   Literacy – 92%.  ...

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Missionary Spotlight-Frontier between Faith and Idolatry
February 2000
Taiwan

Missionary Spotlight-Frontier between Faith and Idolatry

Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is situated in the South China Sea, approximately 100 miles from the Chinese mainland. It is a leaf-shaped island slightly smaller than Switzerland. Its population of twenty-two million is mainly urban and crowded into the western coastal plain, one of the most crowded parts of the world. Except for about 325,000 aboriginal people, the people of Taiwan originate from the Chinese mainland. Some emigrated four hundred years ago and consider themselves indigenous Taiwanese, while others moved across from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War (1949). The official language is Mandarin Chinese, although recently there has been a resurgence of...

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December 1999
China

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT-House churches in China

Leaders of major house-church movements in China have issued a ‘united appeal’ calling on the Chinese Government to recognise the legitimacy of Christian groups outside the government-approved ‘Three Self Patriotic Movement’. The seven-point statement, issued from an unidentified location in Henan province and dated 22 August 1998, was reportedly drafted by twelve house church leaders from various provinces. Their repeated use of the term ‘Chinese House Church’ suggests that these leaders view themselves not as members of scattered, unrelated groups but rather as part of a larger body. In the first such statement directed at the Chinese Government, these leaders call on the government to...

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MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Letter from Korea
May 1999
South Korea

MISSIONARY SPOTLIGHT – Letter from Korea

Fourteen months ago the economic situation in Korea began to deteriorate rapidly and unexpectedly. Though there are now small signs of recovery, the economy has still a long way to go to get back to where it was.   This crisis has burst the unreal, ‘bubble’ base of our national economy. It has made Koreans grapple afresh with realities. It has brought a needed, but painful, opportunity for lasting economic reform, as the whole country struggles to restructure. Recently, the Korean currency recovered a third of its lost value, climbing back to 1,200 won to the US dollar, as opposed to 1,800 at the height...

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Letter from Hong Kong
May 1999
China

Letter from Hong Kong

Prior to its return to China probably the most frequently asked question about Hong Kong was, ‘What will it be like after [1 July] 1997?’ Now, almost two years after the hand-over, ‘Business as usual’ is probably the simplest answer. It is also appropriate, because business is what Hong Kong is largely about and most high-level decisions seem to be made to protect those interests.   Few changes ‘One country, two systems’ was Deng Xiao Ping’s formula for Hong Kong’s reunification with the motherland. The Beijing authorities promised to leave the province unchanged for fifty years after its return to China, and it would seem...

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