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  • God moves mightily in Asia despite pandemic horrors

    In the header image, a masked tourist walks on an empty street during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Singapore. (Photo courtesy of Victor He/Unsplash)

    Asia (MNN) — The first COVID-19 case surfaced in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Several variants and a pandemic classification later, the battle seems never-ending.

  • Indonesia becomes Asia’s new COVID-19 hotspot

    The header image shows people getting tested for COVID-19 in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

    Indonesia (MNN) — Indonesia has surpassed Brazil and India as the country with most new COVID-19 cases per day. Indonesia reported over 56,000 new cases on Thursday. However, a lack of adequate testing means the true numbers may be much higher.

  • You can do something about the loss of pastors in India.

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    Give Now!

    Good News Amidst Growing COVID Crisis in India 

    As you are well aware, the COVID crisis has gripped the world, perhaps none worse than what we are seeing in India today. Fortunately, Asian Access just received a matching challenge to help serve the church in India as well as the Middle East.

  • India targets minorities in push for Hindu Rashtra by 2024

    spandan-pattanayak-PpZobixj2KU-unsplash.jpg from UnsplashChristian worker describes violent attacks based on caste and religion.

    India (MNN) — India’s latest chapter of minority oppression resulted in the violent deaths of two young Dalit women from Uttar Pradesh. On Tuesday, a 19-year old and 22-year old succumbed to fatal injuries caused by two separate instances of gang rape. Rape occurs every 15 minutes in India, according to federal statistics. “Uttar Pradesh is turning out to be their laboratory of how [the] Hindu state [will function],” explains David*, a Christian worker in India...

  • India’s Hindu Rashtra: “a lot more persecution in the days ahead”

    India (MNN) — There’s an adage as old as time: “While the cat’s away, the mice will play.” It implies group laziness or misbehavior when an authority figure is not present. A similar scenario is taking place in India right now. While police focus on COVID-19 restrictions, Christian Post reports, Hindu extremists are launching more attacks on Christians. The first half of 2020 saw 135 cases, but experts say the real number is probably much higher.“ Persecution has become a reality in most of rural and semi-rural India. But...

  • Using Digital Technology for the Future

    How do you envision using digital technology into the future in ways that you did not do before COVID-19?

    editing video3 20200321 WA0004The new future is the present! The world has gone digital. Few were ahead of the curve; most are adapting quickly. What do people need? 1.) Need customized/customizable platforms and applications that are versatile; 2.) Need user-friendly tools. What do we need to do? ... 

  • Use of Digital Technology During & Post COVID Times

    How has digital technology changed how you do life and ministry in this season of COVID-19?

    hubert rajiv 2020 4x3When people ask me this question, I share my approach to the change. There are three big needs during and post-COVID times:

    CONTENT: People have a lot of time during this COVID season and are hooked onto the internet most of the time. And so, I see that there is a need for relevant content to flood the net with.

    ENCOURAGEMENT: People are living in fear and panic as they are engulfed and bombarded with news reports of this pandemic resulting in hopelessness. Therefore, they need encouragement and hope to pull themselves through this time... 

  • Cyclone Amphan crashes into India and Bangladesh

    A satellite image showing the Sundarbans. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)Bangladesh (MNN) Yesterday, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal, India, near the border of Bangladesh. The storm originated in the Bay of Bengal and was the strongest storm ever recorded in those waters. Before making landfall, the storm dissipated slightly to the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane. The storm first landed at the Sundarbans, a forest reserve that sits on the border of India and Bangladesh and is home to 96 protected tigers. With 165 mph winds and 16-foot waves at landfall, Amphan damaged many old and poorly constructed buildings...

  • Modi considers 'end or extend' lockdown decision

    India (MNN) — Will India end or extend its current nationwide shut-down? A national shelter-in-place order went into effect on March 24 and is scheduled to end on Tuesday. However, Prime Minister Modi plans to discuss options tomorrow with state leaders before making a final decision. India’s coronavirus cases more than doubled last week, and the number of new infections continues to rise. At least one state already extended its restrictions through the end of the month. See our global coronavirus coverage here. Many people live hand-to-mouth in India, and believers want to demonstrate Christ’s love by helping those in need. David Dayalan of Asian Access says the lockdown makes this practically impossible...

  • Indian Christians say "enough" to violence against women

    woman, women, indiaIndia (MNN) — The Indian government is taking steps to punish violence against women. Most recently, four men were sentenced to death for the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old female student in New Delhi in 2012. However, not much has changed at the societal level. Joe Handley with Asian Access says many Indian women still suffer marginalization, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. “Gang rape is a huge problem in India,” Handley says. “These gangs will pick on a young girl and unfortunately do atrocities in those situations. “In addition to that, there are situations where someone will get married and something will happen in the marriage relationship. It’s so bad that the husband wants to disown the wife, so…they’ll throw acid in their face and then...” {addthis off}

     

  • Empowering the Persecuted Church

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    $167,000 Matching Gift will Help Asian Access design Persecution Curriculum

    “Joe, what is being done is not enough. Given the fruitfulness of Asian Access leadership approach, can we add this component to our overall leader development?”

    This is what the leader of one of our countries asked as he begged me to better empower leaders as they face increasing levels of persecution. This is someone who is deeply connected to the groups who work to help the Persecuted Church. Indeed, persecution is on the rise! Ten of the 16 countries Asian Access works in face persecution. We’ve seen recent reports from India, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. In the first few months of the year, the same types of things have occurred in China as well.... {addthis off}

  • Of Cyclone Fani, Aftermath and Recovery in India

    typewriter cyclonefani 600pxIndia (MNN) – India learned from the bitter lessons of 1999 when a super cyclone struck Odisha (formerly known as Orissa) and killed 10,000 people, mostly in Odisha state. Upon learning that another massive storm was aiming straight for the east coast last week, government officials evacuated over a million people. David Dayalan, the India country director for Asian Access (A2), says although Cyclone Fani still claimed dozens of lives, the evacuation saved tens of thousands of lives. Heatwave complicates recovery... {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...

  • Anti-Conversion laws mean greater pressure on Christians in India

    Anti-conversion laws create pressure on Christian ministries in India

    India (MNN) – What if sharing the Gospel could land you in jail? This is the reality many Indian Christians face now that another state has enacted an anti-conversion law. Why Anti-Conversion Laws? Indian anti-conversion laws are put in place through local state governments. These laws have been part of public discourse since the colonial period, when they were seen as a way to protect national and religious identity in the face of British imperialism. Over the years, these laws continued to serve different purposes, but now they are coming back into popularity.

  • In Nepal, new law cracks down on expression of religion

    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...

  • “God used Asian Access to equip me for my new ministry”

    Meet Prasanna Vuppula, A2/India Alumnus

    pras-and-company.pngRecently, we had the opportunity to meet with an Asian Access graduate who has seen God use his Asia Access experience to prepare him for his new ministry. Prasanna Vuppula (who goes by Pras) is based in Hyderabad, Telangana, in south-central India. A long-time pastor, he realized several years ago that while on the outside his ministry looked good, inside, he was struggling spiritually. “By 2011, I had to face the fact that I was struggling spiritually,” Pras told us. “Unfortunately, I did not feel free to share my struggles with the church community where I ministered. In India, the Church can often be a legalistic place where we are afraid to reveal our true selves.” It was at this time that Christopher Uputuri, who helps to lead Asian Access/India, approached Pras with an invitation to join the upcoming South India cohort...

  • Pressure on Christians rises in India

    Persecuted ChurchIndian Christians face increasing persecution in recent years

    India (MNN) — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced he will be meeting with United States President Donald Trump later this month to discuss bilateral relations. While that doesn’t necessarily include religious freedom, it will hopefully shed some light on the uptick in pressure on Christians. According to Open Doors USA, radical Hinduism is the main source of persecution in India, and Christian converts are often physically assaulted if they don’t return to their old beliefs. Joe Handley with Asian Access confirms reports that the situation of Christians has worsened in recent years. “Churches are feeling pressured out of their places that they weren’t pressured before,” Handley says. “They pretty much have freedom in certain sectors or areas of the city, but now you’re finding pressure put on them by the business owners, that maybe they rent a facility and are [experiencing] skyrocketing...

  • Changes for the Church in 2017

    (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,...

  • 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...

  • Constitution blockade, Christmas plans continue

    Flickr_Nepal protest via S Pakhrin 12-04-15Nepal (MNN) — It was over as soon as it began. An effort to end the months-long Constitution blockade crippling Nepal fell short. Speaking via Skype, Noel Becchetti of Asian Access says religious freedom is at the heart of it all. "Nepal passed the first-ever constitution in the history of their country in September. In that part of the world,...

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