Central Asia

In Pakistan, our partner “Peter” has been facing severe persecution and needs your prayers.

Peter Pakistan

Peter is a Muslim-background believer, meaning he regularly faces the scorn of his nation’s Muslim majority. On several occasions, he has had to leave cities because his safety and even his life were under threat. Most recently, he was due to appear in court because of the work he does, but the case has been postponed because the second party did not attend.

Two weeks ago, with the court case still not concluded, a mob descended on Peter’s house. They forcibly removed him, along with his wife, six children and four foster children. Then they threw their belongings out of the house, breaking items such as their refrigerator and cooking equipment. We are grateful that the rickshaw Peter uses to earn a living was not damaged.

For a week or so, Peter and his family have had to sleep out in the open. This is not only an uncomfortable situation but also a dangerous one in the circumstances. Our partners in Pakistan have been working hard to secure a new home for Peter and his family urgently, and believe they may have found somewhere. Please pray with us that the Lord would provide graciously, allowing Peter and his family to move to this new home and protecting them from persecution.

South-East Asia

Myanmar’s military campaign to kill or drive away ethnic minorities is worsening, despite a growing global outcry.

In recent months, the army have increased their focus on largely Christian minorities in the Kachin and Shan regions of the country. As a result of this targeting, many people have had to flee from their homes, only taking what they are able to carry. There are an estimated 100,000 people displaced in this region of Myanmar.

Military attacks often bombard settlements with mortars. Some manage to escape into the jungle, but the military seeks to prevent aid from reaching those who have had to flee. We will be providing further reports on this situation in our summer magazine, which you can subscribe to for free.

Please remember those who have had to leave their homes in search of safety in Myanmar.

Source: New York Times

East Asia

A new document produced by the Chinese government has revealed a five-year plan to influence the future of Christianity in the country.

The document outlines a new policy where Christian faith will be “sinicised”. As the document describes, “sinicisation” is the process of making the Christian faith more compatible with the socialist values at the heart of the ruling Communist Party.

In other words, the government will encourage Christians to reinterpret their faith in such a way that they can be both a true follower of Christ and enthusiastically support Chinese rule.

Particular methods employed by the government to assist this “sinicisation” will actually be to encourage Bible study - so long as Scripture is being interpreted in a manner approved by Chinese officials. The government will also heavily influence theological training so that the curriculum includes a heavy emphasis on core communist values such as socialism and Chinese patriotism. 

These plans show a different, yet very dangerous method of attacking true biblical Christianity by reframing the Bible as supportive of the Communist government. We must pray for wisdom and discernment for Christians in China - that they would read and learn the Bible faithfully and not in the manner Chinese officials would prefer them to. May the Spirit of truth guide them.

Source: Patheos

Subcontinent

Amid growing Hindu nationalism in India, many speakers have called for the government to uphold the country’s constitutional rights, protecting those who follow a faith other than Hinduism.

One scholar commented that they were “living at a time when you are questioned about the food you eat, about the god you worship and branded as anti-national for expressing a different view.”

Another speaker revealed that there had been an 20% increase in atrocities against Christians from the previous year. The speaker, a lawyer, shared the difficulties Christians face in securing protection or justice from police, saying, “When you go to police, they hardly cooperate and often refuse to register complaints… We could file only 25 criminal cases, as against the 240+ incidents reported in the year.”

As India becomes less and less tolerant of Christianity, we must support our brothers and sisters in prayer. May the Lord change the hearts of leaders to ensure protection for religious minorities in India.

Source: World Watch Monitor

North Korea

The long-awaited summit between President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un occurred this week.

The summit, held in Singapore on 12th June, saw Trump make history by becoming the first sitting US president to meet his North Korean counterpart. Similarly to Kim’s previous summit with President Moon of South Korea, the two leaders issued a joint statement that affirmed a desire for “complete denuclearisation.”

Many experts have weighed in on the summit and its implications going forwards. Some argue that this is not a sufficient commitment to denuclearisation as it doesn’t require verification of an irreversible dismantling of weapons. Others are more optimistic, and consider the summit as a promising to start to a long and beneficial relationship with North Korea. Undiscussed however, was North Korea’s horrific record on human rights violations. This is an issue that continues to require much prayer as millions in North Korea suffer from heavy restrictions on many freedoms, including freedom of religion.

Sources: BBC News, Time