Asia Mission Report: Bhutan, China and Indonesia

Dec 23, 2002 02:58 PM EST

Bhutan--Mission work in the world's most Buddhist country worsens as camps of north-eastern insurgent groups build tension. Neighboring officials pressure Bhutan's government to take action against the new threat to peace.

John Maisel of East West Ministries' note the aggravated hardships faced for missionaries in Bhutan. "Bhutan is an official Buddhist country. Everything else is illegal if you live in Bhutan; (and) you're shut down and you're imprisoned if you try to do anything, especially try to proselyte--win a Buddhist to Christ--or if you're aggressive in any other type of faith other than the Buddhist faith, it has enormous consequences."

Asking for prayers, Maisel remarked that, "A lot of people don't hear about it, but it's one of the most difficult countries in the world to work in, just because of the Buddhist mentality of it being a Buddhist kingdom."

China- China, ranked 12th on the World Watch List of countries where Christians are most severely persecuted, agrees to meet the leaders of the U.S. Commission of Religious Freedom in the spring. The decision came after the completion of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights on Labor Affairs' high talks in Beijing with Chinese officials.

Indonesia -- Five Bible mission-training boot camps help advance the Gospel in Indonesia. These camps, lead by "Teen Missions" provide spiritual and physical training for two weeks, then releases the graduated students to help in various missions related projects.

Darla Trout, a staff member of the "Teen Missions" group commented, "The whole school is set up with the purpose of missionary training, to train those that are interested in serving on the mission field. We don't charge anything for those Bible schools. They go to the Bible schools free of charge. The only requirement is that we ask that they have a heart to serve the Lord full time and that they go through what we call "The Lord's Boot Camp." We graduated the first class in October. There was 53, so those 53 that just graduated in October had finished their three years and I believe all of them went on to full time Christian service in ministry in Indonesia."

Southeast Asia- Earlier this month, the Far East Broadcasting Company's Hmong broadcaster, John Lee died of a heart attack. Lee gospel programs the past 24 years helped create a large Christian movement within the Hmong villages across Southeast Asia. Many referred to him as pastor as he guided their spiritual walk.

By Paulina C.