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All articles in category Asia

June 2013
China

China’s tears

The early church history course came to a memorable end. The final session concerned the rise of Islam and its effects on the churches of North Africa and the Middle East in the seventh to eleventh centuries.      We looked at the terrible legacy of the Crusades in terms of the lasting bitterness which resulted, and the consequent failure of western missionaries to make a significant impact on the Muslim world.      I closed by suggesting that the burden of responsibility for evangelising the Islamic world may well now lie with Christians from East Asia, who are not saddled with that debilitating history; and by...

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May 2013
Iran

Growing pressures in Azerbaijan

Churches in Azerbaijan are facing increasing pressure due to government fears of religious extremism. A fact-finding trip by Release International discovered many churches are being denied official registration under tough new regulations.      But, despite the increasing pressures faced by Christians in the former Soviet republic, the church is growing.      Release, which serves persecuted Christians, has produced a DVD highlighting the challenge facing believers in Azerbaijan and featuring interviews with pastors and others. In the fire is available from the Release web site. Oppression Pastor ‘Izzat’ served 18 months behind bars after complaints by Muslim leaders. Thirty police and officials turned up at his...

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The gospel on the island of Cyprus
October 2012
Cyprus

The gospel on the island of Cyprus

The gospel on the island of Cyprus Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, lies not far from the coasts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Driving across this semi-arid country, one can still come across the idyllic scene of a shepherd leading a mixed flock of longhaired sheep, barely distinguishable from the longhaired goats mingled among them.    Acts 13 records that the first ever missionary outreach was prayerfully sent from the young church in Antioch to the island of Cyprus. In obedience to God’s command to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, the apostle Paul and his Cypriot-background teammate, Barnabas,...

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WORLD MISSION – Ministering to the church in China
September 2012
China

WORLD MISSION – Ministering to the church in China

WORLD MISSION Ministering to the church in China God has blessed his people in the UK with a great heritage. For centuries the gospel has been preached here. We have a wealth of Christian literature, many excellent Bible teachers, conventions and Bible colleges. In many other areas of the world the church is much younger. God’s people do not have access to books and other resources. Opportunities for learning the Word of God more deeply are rare and understanding of the truth is shallow.     In many places, believers and church leaders are well aware of what they lack in this respect. They are pleading...

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World Mission – Changing contours in China
September 2012
China

World Mission – Changing contours in China

World Mission Changing contours in China The church in China is beginning to cast off its chains and is emerging as a powerful force for change. Is this phenomenon likely to transform the communist culture of a repressive regime and create a more open and tolerant society? Article 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of China provides that the people shall have freedom of religious belief, yet the government restricts religious practice to government-sanctioned organisations and registered places of worship. It also controls the growth and scope of activity of religious groups.    Despite formal recognition of religious liberty, religious freedom is accorded little respect...

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India’s oppressed Dalits find hope
July 2012
India

India’s oppressed Dalits find hope

India’s oppressed Dalits find hope ‘Shining and incredible’ are the adjectives India’s authorities use to describe their nation’s newfound economic confidence. Whilst the country’s Gross Domestic Product is growing fast, the welfare of a nation’s citizens cannot be summarised by economic statistics. India’s 250 million Dalits still live in poverty and suffer from every conceivable form of discrimination.     Labelled ‘untouchable’ at birth, these people cannot eat with or even drink the same water as those whom the majority Hindu religion identifies as belonging to higher castes, such as Brahmin and Vaishyas.     Furthermore, for three millennia Dalits have been relegated to the lowest jobs...

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Reflections on giving
May 2012
Philippines

Reflections on giving

Reflections on giving One of the most difficult issues to think through for missions and missionaries is that of money. Here are a few honest thoughts and reflections from my time here in the Philippines. Poverty When I first came to the Philippines, I remember being really struck by the poverty. I’d never seen anything like it before. And yet, a few years ago, arriving back in Manila and driving down the main roads, the thing that struck me most was the riches.    Cubao is one of the best examples of how poverty and riches exist side by side. Ten years ago, it was an...

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Redressing the balance
March 2012
Israel

Redressing the balance

Redressing the balance Israel is a fascinating, frustrating, friendly and sometimes plain mad place to live! The fascination comes from living within the pages of the Bible. The frustration arises from Middle Eastern attitudes to life. The madness stems from the clash of cultures between Arabs and Jews, and the rightward shift of Israeli politics. Over 1.5 million Russians have immigrated following the fall of the Iron Curtain and these are often more influenced by Russian autocracy than by Israel’s western democratic tradition.     There are now more Russians than Arab Israelis and they generally do not like each other, a worrying trend when Israel...

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