Persecution

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Sri Lanka mapJoe Handley, Asian Access, April 26, 2019

MNN speaks with Asian Access President Joe Handley about the State of the Church in Sri Lanka in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings, and how Christians are handling the chaos.

By R.B. Klama | April 26, 2019...{addthis off} 

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courtesy PrexelsSri Lanka on high alert as it mourns bombing victims

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Two days ago on April 21 – Easter Sunday – suicide bombers triggered nearly-simultaneous attacks in six heavily-populated locations. Associated Press lists the locations here. Today, Sri Lankans unite in a national day of mourning to recognize more than 290 bombing victims. Many Christians lost their lives when suicide bombers targeted three churches with large congregations. “They targeted this day, Easter Sunday, because of the vast numbers of people they could impact,” adds... {addthis off}

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sri.st anthonys.jc (photo courtesy Joshua Clayton)A Tragic Easter in Sri Lanka

By now you have seen the tragic news about Easter Sunday from Sri Lanka. 3 churches were bombed during Easter services as well as three prominent hotels, one safe house and another location where police were stationed. At least 258 people have died and more than 500 people have been wounded. Later I learned that two Islamic centers also saw attacks in the northern part of the island. Our colleagues heard the bombs going off during their church services: "We heard of the explosions during our Easter service. We were on lockdown but proceeded the service and sent the believers home ASAP. We were unaware of the gravity of the situation… It is difficult to understand, but we are holding on to God. We are grieving with our people. We are safe. But we are absolutely devastated. Scared. And overwhelmed." They thanked us for praying and asked us to specifically pray that this act of terror could be a turning point in their nation... {addthis off}

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Every time I turn around these days there are reports of increasing persecution of believers and churches in various countries. It seems that persecution is on the rise as nationalism becomes the political whim of the moment. 10 of the 16 countries Asian Access serves have seen persecution expand. Here are a few glimpses from just this past week: “One of our Bible college alumni is beaten by people, accusing of converting people while he was returning with friends helping people with relief material.” ... In another Asian nation, our national director shared this... {addthis off}

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ODM chinaPrayer requested as persecution increases

Reports are coming out every few days about the persecuted church and it appears that a new wave of this type of pressure is rising. Just yesterday, several news stories released about China and these are just the tip of the iceberg:

And, I can verify these and many more. Recently, I...{addthis off}

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ancient antique architecture 879359 500pxIt seems like every day, I’m hearing more reports about persecution happening in the world. I recently left a country that is under significant duress. The week we were there, a crackdown occurred in one of their most famous towns – a town known for having one of their national symbols. The pastors, alumni of Asian Access, had gathered together for a city-wide gathering of churches, only to be harassed by their local community. It seems that everyone is after them: government officials, religious authorities and even the neighbors. It’s sad to see and many lives are often at stake. This type of situation is on the rise in many of the countries we work in. We see this type of harassment happening in more than half the countries we work in and so we could use your prayers. More importantly, they need your prayers! {addthis off}

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vom radio logo sqVoice of the Martyrs Radio recently interviewed Joe Handley on the topic of preparing Christian leaders for persecution. Listen as Joe shares the process used to train leaders, and the special challenges of raising up leaders prepared to endure and thrive in spite of persecution and hostility. Joe will also talk about how the principles taught translate across cultural boundaries from country to country, equipping leaders to boldly follow Christ and serve His people. Finally, Joe will equip us to pray for these leaders, as well as the ministry of Asian Access...{addthis off}

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Pew study reveals heightened pressure on Christians and Muslims.

A nationalist is defined as “a member of a political party or group advocating national independence or strong national government.” Photo by Mike from PexelsInternational (MNN) — According to the latest Pew study, Christians and Muslims faced more religious restrictions than any other group in 2016. Christians faced governmental and societal pressure in 144 of the 198 countries studied. Furthermore, international religious restrictions reached the highest levels since 2007. A nationalist is defined as “a member of a political party or group advocating national independence or strong national government.” In many countries, restrictions were a direct result of nationalist agendas. As just one example, nationalist parties in approximately one-third of European countries targeted religious minorities in their political statements. This was up from 20% of countries in 2015...

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 Treatment of Christians has taken a turn for the worse

Nepal UnsplashNepal (MNN) — For the past several years, the Gospel has moved more in Nepal than almost any country in the world. Christians were showing the nation that the Gospel was more than just a political agenda. But Joe Handley of Asian Access says that recently, things have taken a turn for the worse. Thanks to the Church’s work with orphan care through orphanages and human trafficking through rescue centers and job-training facilities, Nepal...

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