Persecution

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(Photo courtesy SAT-7 via Facebook)The Church in Asia prepares for increased pressure

International (MNN) — As last year has come to an end, it’s easy to look ahead to the new year as a chance for resets and new beginnings. However, Noel Becchetti of Asian Access says for the Church in Asia, what might come is more intimidating than rejuvenating. He says there “is a rising intolerance and direct pressure against Christians and then sometimes others [who] may not be Christian but [are] people who are not part of the ruling group.” Take Bangladesh. “Up until a few years ago, Bangladesh, while a Muslim majority country, has really been known for its tolerance,” explains Becchetti. However, “About three years ago, ...

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(Capture of Sri Lanka courtesy Prayercast)

Militants set fire to a new church; believers undeterred

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Sri Lanka is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The moniker describes a beautiful picture, but the struggles reveal something darker. It’s considered the third most religious country in the world. Although the constitution guarantees religious freedom while favoring Buddhism, minority Protestants have experienced violent persecution as well as discrimination. Although it is legal to convert to Christianity in Sri Lanka, Christians often face opposition from politically active Buddhist monks. The Voice of the Martyrs notes the persecution of Christians has escalated in recent years with the rise of militant Buddhist nationalist groups in Sri Lanka. In fact, more than 250 churches...

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“Things have gotten better here.”

tea break 500pxGiven where I am sitting as I hear these those words, this is no small statement. I’m writing from Dhaka, where I am attending a session for A2 Bangladesh’s third class. 15 pastors and parachurch leaders are deep into the fifth of what will be eight sessions together over a two-year period, ably led by a combination of foreign and in-country faculty. All in all, it is a very encouraging environment...

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(Photo courtesy A2) Bangladesh (MNN) — It took 28 years to get a petition before the High Court in Bangladesh, putting the official state religion in question. Yet, as soon as the case opened it was shut, with the judges choosing to maintain the status quo. The threat of instability was already rising, as more attacks against Christians and Muslim-Background Believers surfaced in the days leading up to the hearing. Religious minority groups raised concerns over the ruling, saying this would only embolden Islamist forces from...


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bangladesh flagBangladesh (MNN) — ISIS last week claimed responsibility for the murder of a pastor in northern Bangladesh. Joe Handley with Asian Access confirmed reports that armed extremists killed 65-year-old Hossain Ali, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 1999. He was a member of Valacopa PBT Church (Paraclete Bangladesh Trust Church). Among the reasons he was targeted, “Pastor Ali came to Christ and was leading a small fellowship in his district. When he started connecting with Muslims and then they, in fact, converted and started attending church, then the pressure started coming down.”

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imageBangladesh (MNN) — Bangladesh is dealing with Islamic terrorists claiming the ISIS banner. Pastors and church leaders are seeing an upsurge in violence and threats. Noel Becchetti with Asian Access shared some of the ominous texts being reported: "'Make sure you eat your favorite foods over the next few days because we're going to kill you in...

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flag of Bangladesh wavingDeath threats issued to pastors in Bangladesh — The persecution of Christians, Hindus, and even random attacks on foreigners have all dramatically increased in Bangladesh this past year, instigated by Islamic extremists. One newspaper reported that over 20 pastors have recently received death threats via text messages and letters. Here is a sampling of SMS death threats from several different sources: a.) "Eat whatever you like the most. Only five days of your life are left. Not more than that." A follow up text sent the next day read, "One day has gone by. Let us know if we have to arrange your burial as well. Or...will your family take care of your body?" b.) "You, the Christian leaders, will have to bid goodbye to this world very soon." c.) "We are going to finish off all, one by one, who are spreading Christianity in Bangladesh." According to Barnabas Fund, these threats have been sent by...

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nathan 3 webThere is an unprecedented movement of God happening right now in Asia. And if you are from Asia or currently living in Asia, you have a unique opportunity to support this movement. This summer I met “Nathan” (not his real name). Nathan serves a church in one of the world’s most populous nations.  Nathan is part of a unique movement of God that is happening right before our eyes. Over many decades, Nathan’s country received...

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(Photo courtesy of Asian Access)Asia (MNN) -- Terrorists are striking fear around the world, but they're not stopping dedicated believers. By the year 2030, Christians in an Asian country hope to have sent out 20,000 indigenous missionaries. Joe Handley with Asian Access, a ministry dedicated to raising up Christian leaders, says: "There is a sense, at least for many parts of Asia that the Gospel has been brought to them, and they owe a debt to God for bringing this hope to...

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