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A church that met in a bar has exciting news

Pastor Ami’s congregation cleaning up after their last service in the bar. (Photo courtesy of Takahiro Ami via Facebook).Japan (MNN) – A couple of months ago, we told you about pastor Takahiro Ami in Sendai City, Japan, who held his church services in a local bar. It was smelly and crowded, but it was the only place they could find. Well, here’s an encouraging update: Joe Handley with Asian Access says Ami has found a new building better suited for his congregation’s needs. “He is cutting new territory with church life in Japan by meeting outside of a traditional church building,” Handley says. “Even just his step into a bar was courageous, and now, to take this to another level, where they’ll have more accessibility for families, is quite remarkable.”

About 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar

Buddhist monks in MyanmarMyanmar (MNN) – For decades, Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority population has been known as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities. But over the past three weeks, their situation has taken a deadly turn. On August 25, Rohingya rebels attacked police posts throughout Rakhine State. Myanmar’s military tried to root out the rebels, but many Rohingya say soldiers shot those who fled indiscriminately. About 400,000...

flooding in BangladeshOne-third of Bangladesh is under water

Bangladesh (MNN) – While severe flooding has affected millions of lives in Southeast Asia over the past few months, Bangladesh has proven to be especially vulnerable. Over 140 people have been killed and thousands of homes destroyed. On August 11, Bangladesh received nearly the equivalent of a week’s worth of rain during the summer monsoon season in a few hours. A third of the country is submerged, wreaking havoc on its vital farming economy. “They make their house by mud, and when the flood came down, many, many houses broke down,” ...

jpn nightpassage2.jcHaving church in a bar?

Japan (MNN) — When you think of church, what comes to mind? Well-dressed men and women worshipping in a large building with a cross on the top? That’s not always the case. Sometimes, you have to make do with what you have. That’s what Taka Hiroami, the pastor of Praise Community Church in Sendai, Japan who’s working with Asian Access’ leadership development partnership, is dealing with. They don’t have their own building, but that’s not stopping believers from worshipping together.

 

Nepal photo courtesy of Mission Network NewsConversion may not be safe anymore in Nepal

Nepal (MNN) – Christianity in Nepal has two main bullies—Hindu radicals from within the country, and India. Thanks to growing pressures from these two sources, religious freedoms for minority groups are severely threatened. Earlier this month, a bill was passed that will likely restrict Christians and other groups from sharing their faith. It is currently being finalized into law. The language of the bill closely resembles blasphemy and anti-conversion laws from...

Photo courtesy of Secret ChurchMissionaries on alert in the wake of North Korean missile launch

Japan (MNN) — North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island into the sea on Tuesday, testing already frayed international relations. Days later, Japan remains on high alert and launched evacuation drills along its west coast.  A missile defense system has been deployed to the west of Japan.  Tokyo also slapped additional sanctions against Pyongyang following repeated missile launches and other unresolved....

 

Over 30 people killed in a single day

A2/PhilippinesPhilippines (MNN) — Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has taken a bloody turn.

At least 80 people were killed last week in multiple police raids, including a raid on Tuesday in the Bulacon province that left 32 people dead. It was the single bloodiest day of Duterte’s crackdown on drug users and pushers, his major initiative that began when he was inaugurated as President on June 30th last year.

“The useful explanation is that they fought back and so the police just fought...

How do Christians find unity amidst change?

Wesley Kyaw ThuraMyanmar (MNN) — Myanmar is in trouble, and local believers know it. Religious strife and political tension have led to the abuse and persecution of Rohingya Muslims, and leaders are looking for unity in troubled times. That’s where Wesley Thura believes the Church comes in. Thura is the National Director for Asian Access in Myanmar and he has noticed how resistant...

Asian Access responds to Nepal's worst rainfall in 15 years

Nepal floods 2Nepal (MNN) — The people of Nepal desperately need your prayers. Days of monsoon rain triggered severe flooding and landslides, killing over 100 people. Contacts tell Asian Access the Nepal floods washed away entire families. “Everywhere there’s water, so deep; [it’s a] very difficult situation. People [have] lost their [livelihood] and all the food, clothing; everything they lost,” said Mr. Chittry...

Mongolia’s church may be young, but they have big plans

Mongolian gerMongolia (MNN) — Mongolia’s Church is younger than most. Many pastors have only been ministering for just over 20 years, but they’re already facing challenges on a national scale.

“In our country, materialism is kicking in so people are more interested [in] having status in society. They want to have all the privileges that mainstream people would like to have,” says Chinzorig Jigjidsuren, the National Director for Asian Access in Mongolia. He’s worried that more interest in earthly treasures means less interest in spiritual ones, and he wants Mongolia’s pastors to unite to reignite hunger for the Gospel. Because so many pastors are young and spread out, it’s easy for believers to feel alone or abandoned. ”The DNA of Asian Access keeps...

(Representative photo courtesy of Asian Access)New law ramping up pressure on churches

Southeast Asia (MNN) — In many communities, the local church exists to serve people and be a beacon of Christ’s love. But not everyone sees it that way. In many countries, the government sees the body of believers as a threat to their way of life. That’s what one pastor who’s been trained by Asian Access says is happening in a country in Southeast Asia. In one case, a congregation meeting in a pastor’s house raised enough money for a church building, only to have it shut down by authorities. “Right after they...

brother jakeA2.business trains leaders to work in the marketplace

East Asia (MNN) — Asian Access has been training pastors and Christian leaders for over three decades in 12 countries with great success. Their programs set up small groups of pastors to take classes that promote Christlikeness at home, at work, and in their daily lives. “This model of developing pastoral leaders through a cohort program has been very successful in developing Christlike leaders who have a vision to reach their cities and transform their communities,” said Brother Jake. “With this being so successful, Asian Access came up with the idea that the same program could be run for business leaders as well, and that’s how A2.business has come about.” Brother Jake is a regional coordinator of Asian Access in his country, and he hopes the program will do the same thing for the business world of East Asia that it did for ministry. In fact, the two systems are so similar they even have the...

Christian minority feels safe under martial law

map & flag image, courtesy Voice of the MartyrsPhilippines (MNN) — The Filipino military declared a brief ceasefire Sunday, allowing Muslims to peacefully celebrate the end of Ramadan. The lull in the fighting also allowed for the rescue of six civilians trapped in the city of Marawi. Government forces are forging progress toward peace, but it’s slow-going. Earlier last week, about 200 suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) took hostages and holed up for hours inside a school, then took five civilians with them after fleeing. Some say the attack could be a diversion for the Islamic State to gain more ground in Marawi. “That is a common perception because the BIFF is sympathetic to the radical group,” says Herman Moldez with Asian Access, an organization that trains and equips Christian leaders throughout Asia. “In fact, there had been some effort for reinforcement coming from Salou and these areas, and so one of the reasons for the declaration of martial [law] of the entire [island of] Mindanao is for the military to be able to respond quickly and not to complicate the whole matter in Marawi City...

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Mission Network News is a mission news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world. In doing so we hope to educate and motivate Christians to prayer, participation, and support of missionary work to help further the Great Commission.

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