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  • Churches send aid to Indonesia quake zone

    Damages from a January 2021 earthquake. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Indonesia (MNN) — The desperate search for survivors continues in West Java, Indonesia.

  • Recent persecution in China reflects broader trend

    header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Christian Lue/Unsplash - christian lue 2Juj2cXWB7U unsplash

    China (MNN) —  Persecution in China filled the headlines in recent weeks. Authorities raided several house churches and arrested leaders within China and harassed Chinese believers seeking shelter in Thailand.

  • COVID-19 overwhelms hospitals throughout Asia

    Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of S&B Vonlanthen/Unsplash.

    Asia (MNN) — An “explosion” of COVID-19 cases is pushing hospitals across Asia to the edge of collapse, the International Federation of the Red Cross warns. Asian nations reported over 5.9 million new infections in the past two weeks – more than the combined totals of all other regions.

  • China tries to erase Inner Mongolian culture

    A scene from Inner Mongolia; image by marywenstrom from PixabayChina (MNN) — Students and parents from Inner Mongolia gathered to protest a new Chinese policy that would require students to use Mandarin textbooks, rather than learn in Mongolian. Joe Handley of Asian Access describes Inner Mongolia (not to be confused with the independent country of Mongolia to the north) and its relation to China. “Imagine that China was like the United States. Inner Mongolia would be something like the state of Montana. It’s a region within...

  • Criminal charges brought against online churches in China

    China (MNN) — Concerning accounts are pouring from China that have nothing to do with a physical virus. Many local believers are reporting crackdowns on the underground Church’s digital presence in China in the form of arrests and criminal charges. Restrictions on digital Christian content are nothing new; some local believers already change their websites and programming on a near-daily basis. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game for two reasons. First, the online Chinese Church has experienced explosive growth since...

  • Coronavirus and How You Can Help

    00372 00652A few weeks ago, the coronavirus hit, and the world seems to be in an ever-growing cycle of media barrage. I’m sure most of you by now are taking necessary precautions and being wise in how to stay safe. You may be asking, how is the affecting ministry and what can I do about it? Some have asked, are you safe there in Asia (to me and my many of my colleagues)? The coronavirus was announced just before I was flying to a conference in SE Asia primarily focused on China. 5000 people were due to come, the majority from China. A few days prior, the conference organizers had set up parameters given the situation and knowing that this was Chinese New Year so a lot of tourists would be traveling... {addthis off}

  • Coronavirus sweeps across China

    China (MNN) — A coronavirus continues to spread through China and to other countries, presenting new challenges for Asian Access. The coronavirus first appeared in the city of Wuhan in China. Like the SARS coronavirus in 2003, this currently unnamed virus has mutated to be able to infect not just animals, but humans as well. Precisely how it made the jump from animals to humans is unknown. The virus causes pneumonia, making it potentially deadly. With almost 3,000 confirmed cases around China, over 80 have died. China has quarantined more than 50 million people, and has... {addthis off}

  • Pastor Wang Yi sentenced to prison without public trial

    China (MNN) — Pastor Wang Yi of China’s well-known Early Rain Covenant Church was sentenced to nine years in prison last week. The Chinese government never held a public trial for Pastor Wang, but charged him behind closed doors with “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business activities.” Pastor Wang was arrested in December 2018 along with several other church members. Prior to his arrest, Pastor Wang prepared a six-page statement refuting what he guessed the government would charge him with as the leader of a popular underground church.{addthis off}

  • Violence escalates as Hong Kong protests enter week 10

    Hong Kong (MNN) — As protests in Hong Kong hit the 10-week mark, some demonstrations have turned violent. Protests at the airport caused the city to ground all flights yesterday. What started as a cry of concern for extradition legislation has turned into a demonstration built upon years of frustrations. Francis Tsui, a board member of Asian Access, says the protests have thrown Hong Kong into the most serious crisis it has experienced in decades. The demonstrations, which are the largest and longest the city has seen in some time, have significantly disrupted daily life. And it is dividing the local Church, too. “Initially, when the focus of the protest [was] quite clear on trying to fight against the... {addthis off}

  • China counting its Christians, ministries adapt

    China (MNN) – Rumors that China’s Central Government ordered its towns to monitor and count Christians appear to be true. More specifically, Asian Access’ Joe Handley says, “What we’re hearing is they’re following up and wanting to get actual names of those who believe in God. It’s not just Christianity; it includes Buddhism, Taoism.  It’s spanning the scope of everything, including...{addthis off}

  • Religious restrictions reach new high

    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...

  • One Belt, One Road... Implications for Mission

    The belt and road in AsiaNot long ago I was in Hong Kong and the talk of the town was China’s One Belt, One Road plan to catalyze business ventures across Asia and into Europe. For those of you never hearing of the idea, check out this interview by McKinsey & Company: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade? It’s certainly a breathtaking economic initiative and many wonder if it’ll come to fruition because of the massive infrastructure costs it will take to pull everything together. One thing we can say, China is ambitious! For me, the talk was all about how important this enterprise will...

  • Exciting year of empowering and equipping national leaders

    This is an exciting year for Asian Access. There is a lot happening out there. I just spent the last few days with four key leaders from different countries like Japan, Mongolia, Cambodia and India. And listening to them would inspire you. I wish you could be here with me to hear their voices. It's exciting as we look to the future...

  • 70 years after WWII; further generations shouldn’t be predestined to apologize

    (Photo courtesy Caribbean360.com)Japan (MNN) -- Speaking of global warfare, comments from Japan’s Prime Minister about WWII is stirring up controversy.  Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access says: "We know that the statement that 'we should no longer apologize' will be taken by Chinese government as quite negative, that we're not really taking the full responsibility of what we have do...

  • Reflections on China: Joe's thoughts following China Challenge 2011

    A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of serving with China Challenge 2011. As you probably know China is at the center of global activity these days and the country faces a number of changes in the coming year: one of which is a significant change in their overall country leadership. These changes and activities have thrust them into the center of...

  • World Expo provides a glimpse into an elusive culture


    A typical Mongolian yert.

    Mongolia (MNN) ― Mongolian Cultural Week opened at the same time China unveiled its grandeur in the World Expo kickoff this week. The showcase reveals a picture of a hospitable nomadic people. 

    It is common in Mongolia to see several generations of families living together in a khot&#1

  • Strengthening missions movement in Asia

    International (MNN) ― The missionary movement in Asia seems to be growing. 

    Bruce Johnson of Asian Access reports, "Europe and the U.S. and North America have been sending missionaries over the past decades. However, I've been so encouraged as I've traveled across Asia, and I keep hearing in country after country where they are

  • Country Profile: China

    People's Republic of C hina
      C hina is situated in eastern Asia, bounded by the Pacific in the east. The third largest country in the world, next to Canada and Russia, it has an area of 9.6 million square kilometers, or one-fifteenth of the world's land mass. The border stretches over 22,000 kilometers on land and the coastline extends well over 18,000 kilometers, washed by the waters of the Bohai, the Huanghai, the East C hina and the South C hina seas. The Bohai Sea is the inland sea of C hina. There are 6,536 islands larger than 500 square meters, the largest is Taiwan, with a total area of about 36,000 square kilometers, and the second, Hainan. The South C hina Sea Islands are the southernmost island group of C hina.
      9,596,960 sq km / 3,705,386 sq miles
      Approximately the size of the United States
      1.34 billion (UN 2008)
      Bei jing
      99% (age 15+ and can read and write)
      Official: Mandarin
    Note: C hina's language is officially Mandarin, as spoken in Bei jing. The C hinese call it Putonghua. About 70% of the population speak Mandarin, but that's just the tip of the linguistic iceberg. The country is awash with dialects, and dialects within dialects - and few of them are mutually intelligible. Of the seven major strains, Cantonese is the one most likely to be spoken in your local C hinese takeaway. It's the lingua franca of Guangdong, southern Guangxi, Hong Kong and (to an extent) Macau.

    Official: Cantonese

    Source: Lonely Planet


    Mix of Confucianist, Buddhist, Taoist (no stats available)

    Muslim (14 million)

    Christianity (7 million)

      Socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship. Led by the Communist Party of China, multi-party cooperation. 
      Per capita income = US$ $1,290 per year
      Renminbi ('People's Money') (Y)
      GMT/UTC +8
      Statistics provided by a variety of sources, but mostly the U.S. State Department, the U.N. Statistics Division, and BBC News.

    More Information...

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