Missions Catalyst 02.17.10 – World News Briefs

In This Issue: Former Muslim in Canada, Bhutan Fears Christianity, and More

  • CANADA: Former Muslim Shares the Gospel
  • BHUTAN: Why Royalists Fear Christianity
  • CONGO: Armed Rebels Can’t Stop the Hope of the Gospel
  • BURMA: Army Burning Karen Villages
  • CAMBODIA: Openness to the Gospel by Radio

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

World News Briefs, edited by Pat Noble, are published twice a month.

A few updates are in order. First, Robert Park, the American missionary who walked into North Korea, has been released.

Second, concerning the fighting in Jos, Nigeria, a very reliable site for accurate reporting is A Tunanina. Thanks to Mark at Wheaton for this tip.

And third, The Mission Exchange has made the Global Issues Update #7: Response to Haiti available for free. If you don’t have an account, you will need to create one here. Then add it to your shopping cart here. They also recommend reading the Technical Bulletin, Before You Go (Crisis Consulting International).


CANADA: Former Muslim Shares the Gospel

Source: Baptist Press, February 9, 2010

A former Muslim, Nadeem Qazi’s conversion to Christianity set his life on a path of sharing his faith no matter the cost.

After many years of ministry in Pakistan, Qazi began to receive letters from the Pakistani government warning him to leave the country because his life was in danger. He and his wife Jamila escaped to Canada, where they found “such a freedom here we never knew.”

Nadeem and Jamila were surprised that a neighborhood of Toronto named Brampton seemed so much like Pakistan and southern Asia.

The Qazis have been working primarily among Hindu, Sikh and Muslim groups. They have started a couple of Bible studies in Brampton that they hope will grow into a church. One meets in the home of a Sikh family who accepted Jesus two years ago.

>> Full story with pictures.

BHUTAN: Why Royalists Fear Christianity

Source: Compass Direct, February 1, 2010

Bars, pubs, and discos have become legal in Bhutan – a cause of concern for the older generation – but construction of worship buildings other than Buddhist or Hindu temples is still prohibited.

The prohibition remains in force even though Christians abide by Bhutan’s codes of conduct, speaking the Dzongkha language as well as the Nepali language at church gatherings, and wearing the national dress.

Why are Christians seen as a greater threat to the culture of the nation than the “democracy disco culture,” as one government official described the emerging subculture among the Bhutanese youth? It is believed that Christianity will create religious tensions in the country.

“There are reasons why Christianity is not being tolerated in the country,” said a former high government official who requested anonymity. “Look at the communal tensions in India and Nepal. Christianity can divide the Bhutanese society as well.”

>> Full story.

>> Also see Interfaith Interface with Buddhists (Lausanne World Pulse).

CONGO: Armed Rebels Can’t Stop the Hope of the Gospel

Source: Mission Network News, February 10, 2010

Security is being tightened in refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rebels have been practicing guerrilla-style warfare, terrorizing residents.

Grace Ministries International (GMI) wasn’t exempt. Outreach was shut down in December due to a rebel attack near Kama.

The Hutu militia who fled Rwanda (after the genocide) caused the violence. They have since been in hiding in the forest in Congo, attacking and retreating – keeping tensions at a high level.

The church, however, is irrepressible. GMI’s Sam Vinton says, “They [rebels] have disappeared back into the forest, and people are going on. The teams are out now in the schools, and hundreds of young people are making professions of faith in Christ.”

>> Full story.

>> Also see Nicholas Kristof’s column on The World Capital of Killing (The New York Times).

BURMA: Army Burning Karen Villages

Source: Worthy News, February 11, 2010

The Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People said in published remarks that government backed troops set fire to 46 houses in Toe Hta area and 28 houses in Ka Di Mu Der area of Ler Doh township, Nyaunglebin District.

A vital mobile health clinic, a middle school, and a nursery school in K’Dee Mu Der village and Tee Mu TaVillage were reportedly also destroyed by soldiers Monday, February 8.

Over 2,000 people have been displaced and are still in hiding following the attacks that began in January, according to Free Burma Rangers (FBR), a relief organization working in the conflict zones of eastern Burma.

Karen villagers, many of whom are Christians, have been targeted after demanding more rights and autonomy in their region, Worthy News and its partner agency BosNewsLife learned from previous investigations.

Christianity is also seen as a threat to the power base of the military government, rights groups say.

>> Full story.

>> Also see New Refugees Risk Being Repatriated (Inside News).

CAMBODIA: Openness to the Gospel by Radio

Source: ASSIST News Service, January 22, 2010

Through a combination of FM radio programs and on-the-ground follow-up, international broadcast ministry TWR (Trans World Radio) seeks to minister to the women, youth, children, and oral communicators of Cambodia.

Given the great spiritual hunger of the Cambodian people, TWR says it’s not surprising that ministry staff regularly receives letters like this: “I like to listen because this program helps me to know God’s Word.

“It especially helps to change my life from doing things that do not please God. Thank you so much for telling me about the Savior Jesus – that he can save me from my sins and that he also can change my heart from bad to good. I have invited him to come into my life.”

>> Full story with picture.

>> Also see Harvest Time in Cambodia (The Christian and Missionary Alliance).

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