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All articles in category Southern Asia

April 2017
Pakistan

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

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

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
India

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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June 2016
India

The need of the Indian Christian student community

In February 2016, I had the privilege of speaking to many in India on the authority of Scripture, in relation to theistic evolution teaching coming into India. With my colleague Dr Nigel Robinson (PhD, Molecular Biology) we were able to reach a good number of UESI (Union of Evangelical Students of India) fellowships (Indian equivalent of the UCCF) in the universities and colleges across India — Delhi, Calcutta (Kolkata), Trivandrum, Cochin (Kochi) and Madras (Chennai) — and warn them of the bad science as well as bad theology coming from the West. Professor Enoch During this visit it was an honour to give the Professor...

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March 2015
Bhutan

Arrests in Bhutan

A pastor arrested in Bhutan has been released from prison after paying an extortionate fine, Christian charity Open Doors has reported. Pastor Tandin Wangyal had been arrested in Dorokha village in the Samtse district of Bhutan as a result of his faith in March 2014, and was only released in January this year after paying a fine of 100,000 Ngultrum (£1100). He was originally detained along with Pastor Mon Thapa (also known as David Lobzang) after a neighbour complained that the two had held a house church meeting in the village. Having been invited to hold a three-day seminar for Christians, the two pastors arrived...

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February 2015
India

Church growth in India

The tenth ABC (Annual Bible Convention) — previously called the ATTI (Annual Theological Training Initiative) — was held at Banga in Punjab, India, from 27-29 November 2014. Relationships One of the struggles for many believers in the Punjab concerns understanding teaching about the Trinity. Hence the theme of this year’s conference was ‘Relationships: in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:27). Between 150 and 200 people gathered each day. They came from various parts of the Punjab, some travelling considerable distances. Dr Gareth Crossley took three sessions each day, dealing with the relationships between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and their application to human relationships...

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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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