PRAY WITH US.
Join us in praying for the nations of Asia using the regularly updated prayer points below!
Join us in praying for the nations of Asia using the regularly updated prayer points below!
The Taliban Ministry of Vice and Virtue are imposing very strict restrictions on girls and women. So far this has affected their education, dress code and more recently access to gyms and parks. However, our partners on the ground are encouraged, as they have been able to reopen a primary school with 86 girls and 64 boys attending.
A Bangladeshi foreign minister has complained that the nation has been “left alone” to care for the one million Rohingya refugees that have fled Myanmar. The Rohingya are a stateless people group after the Burmese military began a campaign of persecution against them several years ago.
India’s close ties with the mountain kingdom continue with funding towards key infrastructure projects being provided. Around £30m has been supplied by India for use in areas such as roads, urban development, agriculture and health. Grants totalling £483m have been provided over the past five years, with further grants also being made towards Bhutan’s trade infrastructure and governance mechanisms. With Chinese influence and money lurking in the background, India appears determined to maintain this strategic allegiance.
There is no Christmas in Brunei, except in the few registered churches and in the homes of believers. However, many Bruneians travel across the border into Malaysia at this time of year, and their most popular destination is a town with a strong and evangelistic Christian community.
‘Cyber slaves’ are being trafficked into Vietnam before being detained under grim conditions and forced to work for online fraudsters who extort victims around the world. These trafficked workers are bought and sold between the fraudulent tech companies. Whilst the government is trying to crack down on them, anywhere up to 100,000 people are living and working in such conditions.
Source: Rest of World
China has abandoned key parts of its zero–Covid strategy after landmark protest erupted in response to the government’s strict controls. Measures restricting domestic travel and requiring people to isolate in state facilities have been relaxed despite the nation currently experiencing its largest wave of recorded infections. Video have emerged showing people being dragged from their homes after positive tests, and it is hoped that such instances will now come to an end.
A group of believers in Kashmir are praising God for growing their number and raising up a new generation of leaders, all from a Muslim background. Having endured many years of opposition with little fruit from their faithful witness, they are now praising God for the signs of a harvest to come!
As the cost of fuel around the world continues to increase, the government in Indonesia have raised the price of petrol by 30% due to the spiralling cost of fuel subsidies. The move follows weeks of protests against the change, as lower income families will particularly struggle. Fuel consumption in Indonesia is 13% above the global average with around 130 million vehicles zipping around congested cities.
Iran has carried out its first known execution in response to recent protests, with the accused being hanged, having been found guilty of injuring a pro–regime militia member with a machete. Activists fear that this could be the first of many death sentences handed out to protestors. Meanwhile, some are questioning how much longer the ruling regime will be able to cling to power.
An Iraqi environment minister has admitted that pollution from oil production is the main reason for increases in local cancer rates. Communities living close to oil fields near Basra have been identified as being at a higher risk of leukaemia. The wasteful burning of gas as oil is drilled is suspected as the cause. The confirmation comes despite an order from the Prime Minister not to discuss the issue.
Japan is finally seeing an increase in the number of external visitors after a further relaxation of Covid restrictions last month. However, the head of the country’s biggest international airport said that full levels of tourism wouldn’t return until China returned to normal as well. China has been pursuing a zero Covid policy, with several areas still in lockdown.
Seven people were arrested for organising a coup by Kazakh authorities prior to a recent presidential election. Authorities accused the group of attempting to orchestrate large scale protests and attacks on official buildings in the lead–up to the election. International commentators are sceptical however, noting that the nation have failed to meet electoral recommendations.
Source: Moscow Times
Open Doors has reported that incidents of persecution against Christians have been rising since the turn of the year, including death threats, violent attacks and mental abuse. In rural areas especially, the local authorities have considerable power and tend to be under the influence of the local Muslim community.
Source: Open Doors
Many in Laos are affected by or at risk of human trafficking, so it is vital that work is done to rescue those ensnared in the industry, whilst also educating vulnerable communities about the risks. Believers in the country are undertaking this very task, often through the provision of language lessons and awareness seminars on trafficking and drug addiction.
This week, Anwar Ibrahim became the country’s new Prime Minister. Since his stint as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, he has been jailed twice, found guilty of sodomy, beaten by the police commissioner and charged with corruption, all before receiving a royal pardon. Many consider Anwar to be one of the only real Muslim democrats fighting to keep Malaysia multiracial and multicultural. Having written a book on his vision for a more tolerant and pluralistic Asia, could he provide a path for Christians to freely worship and share the gospel?
Source: The Conversation
The world’s first floating city is currently under construction in the Maldives. Made up of over 1,000 islands, the nation is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels due to its low elevation. The nation has been concerned for many years over how to combat this threat. Expected to be completed by 2027, the new city is to be home to 20,000 residents!
Source: Positive News
After 840 winter kits were distributed to vulnerable children last winter, teams are busy distributing a further 600 kits across the country as the treacherous winter approaches once more. From city slums to remote villages, communities will be blessed as young ones are empowered to attend school and escape all–too–common situations of domestic violence. With every kit provided, a family hears the gospel and is introduced to loving members of the local church.
Whilst international attention has waned, atrocities continue in Myanmar as the military continue to exercise their authority over minorities. Bombings, raids and attacks on communities remain widespread, with many displaced people spending weeks or even months in the jungle. We give thanks for a team reaching out to those affected, providing emergency aid in difficult and dangerous circumstances.
One of our partners in Nepal has reported back on a recent teaching trip in which he was able to teach dozens of pastors and many other believers, correcting false teaching which has been handed down in many of the nation’s churched. He was delighted to see an excited response to the good news of salvation by faith alone, with many having been misguided by a works–based ‘gospel’. A group from nine churches in one region had never heard teaching on mercy, propitiation and grace.
Supreme Leader Kim Jong–un has declared that his nation is at ‘full preparedness for actual war’ following several missile launches. North Korean aircraft approached the no–fly zone between the two nations on Thursday night, followed up hours later by the nation’s 27th missile launch of the year. These actions came in response to alleged provocation by South Korea in the form of artillery exercises.
We rejoice that our supporters provided generously in response to the nation’s floods and give thanks for our partners who have put that funding to effective use. Food, blankets, and hygiene kits have been distributed, and the team are now working to resettle 25 families onto a plot of land on which they intend to build a schoolhouse and plant a church. With the beneficiaries coming from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds, we long to see hearts won for Christ as God’s love is displayed and the gospel is shared.
Families in the north of the Philippines are struggling in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Noru. More than 17,000 people were moved to emergency shelters and 3,000 had to be evacuated from the capital, Manila. Sadly, five members of rescue teams were killed in the process.
Human rights groups are demanding Sri Lankan authorities withdraw a draft bill that would give the government powers to set up military–run “re–education centres” that have been compared to China’s Uyghur detention centres. Hearings have begun on petitions against the bill in the Supreme Court.
ISIS has claimed that its cells have carried out 59 operations in the north–east of Syria since the beginning of August. These operations include the killing of over 120 people, ambushes and car bombs destroying 34 military vehicles. The focus of these attacks is on Kurd–controlled areas in the Deir ez–Zor countryside. US operations continue in the region as well with drone strikes claiming the life of an ISIS fighter earlier this month.
“The journey of Faromuz Irgashev from presidential hopeful to prison underscores Tajikistan’s total descent into authoritarianism”, remarks one journalist. Irgashev put himself forward for election in 2020, taking a stand against police brutality, but was not allowed to run. President Emomali Rahmon “won” re–election with 92 percent of the vote, with Irgashev going on to publicly demand that the state investigate police abuses. He was arrested in May and his trial began in October. He asked his mother “not to turn to official channels to seek justice as it is useless.”
Sex workers in Bangkok are pushing for the legalisation of their work in order to access labour rights and social welfare benefits. With an estimated 250,000 sex workers, the city ranks 8th for scale in the global sex industry. Many of these workers have been coerced into such work and have been subjected to exploitation and violence in the underground economy.
Source: Bangkok Post
Turkmenistan is enthusiastic about building stronger ties with the US in an attempt to diversify its economy beyond the energy sector. Major companies including John Deere, Coca Cola and Boeing all joined a recent Turkmenistan–US Business Council meeting as the nation seeks investment in new areas. Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing with the Taliban about construction of a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan and into southern Asia.
In September, the nation suspended use of the Russian payment system ‘Mir’, which was initially developed to avoid Western sanctions following the annexation of Crimea. The suspension comes despite Moscow considering Uzbekistan to be part of its sphere of influence. Over half of the Russian population has a Mir card, but it is not accepted as widely as Russia had hoped.
Source: Moscow Times
Our partners in Vietnam ran a series of outreach clubs to children. In total over 100 children heard the gospel with 20 coming to faith for the first time! Many belong to families opposed to the Christian faith. These clubs were not without risk – local authorities took interest in one of the clubs but, thanks to God, did not discover what the purpose of the event was. Evangelism is outlawed in this part of Asia.
The U.S Navy intercepted a shipment from Iran to Yemen containing 70 tons of a missile fuel component. The substance was hidden among bags of fertiliser and is estimated to be able to fuel a dozen medium–range weapons.
Source: AP News