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All articles in category Southern Asia

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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December 2013
Iran

An Iranian finds Christ

Saeed Mokhlessi writes: I was born in Iran in a fairly devout Muslim family. From an early age, we were taught the basic principles of Islam and I was encouraged to believe and obey them. I remember, from the age of 4 or 5 I used to get excited when the month of Ramadan (when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset) was approaching. Although boys are not required to fast till the age of 15, I was eager to do it.       As I grew up in the community, I became known as an upright and religious boy (although I did get up to mischief...

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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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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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On the Silk Road
March 2012
Pakistan

On the Silk Road

On the Silk Road The southern branch of this ancient trading highway carried silks from China, in exchange for precious stones and spices from India. Today the route is as busy as ever, as gaily painted heavy trucks transport goods to the Chinese border and hundreds of little Suzuki taxis weave in and out of the never ceasing stream of traffic.     About three hours north of Rawalpindi on the Silk Road lies the military town of Abbottabad, of recent notoriety as the hiding place and death scene of Osama bin Laden.    Christian hospital Another few miles further on is to be found the smaller,...

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Sri Lanka
April 2010
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka   We thank God for the recent teaching and training programmes in Trincomalee taken by Dr Gareth Crossley, from Derbyshire in England. Dr Crossley’s subjects included Christology, commitment and the sovereignty of God.             It was a blessed programme, with many brothers re-kindled, motivated and encouraged to get more involved in preaching the gospel and making disciples. We were challenged too with regard to personal holiness and righteousness.             Dr Crossley also taught in a local Bible college, with 35-40 people from Sri Lanka’s north, east, and hill country participating. The Lord sustained me in translating 35 sessions, while suffering toothache and backache....

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Missionary Spotlight – Iran today
September 2009
Iran

Missionary Spotlight – Iran today

Iran today   In the Western world, even in our low times, we are never far from a spiritual oasis of fellowship that will revive the soul. The regular experience of our brethren in Iran is so different.      Here is a family who arrived late to our small gathering. The bus trip was planned to take 48 hours (not a comfortable, air-conditioned coach). In fact it took even longer because the only driver fell asleep at the wheel. The bus left the road and rolled over before coming to rest. The family arrived stiff and bruised but, by the grace of God, otherwise unharmed....

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Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka’s painful aftermath
July 2009
Sri Lanka

Missionary Spotlight – Sri Lanka’s painful aftermath

Sri Lanka’s painful aftermath   On 19 May the President of Sri Lanka declared the 25-year-old civil war between the Sinhalese government forces and LTTE (Tamil Tigers) officially ended. The Tamil Tigers were defeated after a conflict in which more than 80,000 lives were lost and 1.2 million people displaced.   Now a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in north-east Sri Lanka. Many who had fled to government camps are in urgent need of aid, and Jeyakanth has been trying to help. He is the senior pastor of over twenty Tamil and two Sinhalese Reformed churches that he planted or linked together as the Lanka...

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