Join us on David Livingstone’s remarkable life & world changing journey to Africa to share his life in service to others. His humble beginnings exploded with adventure when in 1840 he sailed to Africa. Dr Livingstone’s relentless pursuits in medical missionary service and his love for people left a legacy which destroyed slavery’s hold and brought the Gospel to countless people. Today his story inspires people to make their world a better place.
I usually check out people who follow me on Twitter to see if they have a cool site or impact on politics or the world. Matthew VanDyke’s firm, SONS OF LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL, operates on a non-profit model to provide free security and military consulting and training to communities fighting terrorism, insurgency, and oppressive regimes. This guy does AWESOME work, and this is a missions trip for Christian Spec-Op/Military guys if I ever saw one. Follow him on TWITTER.
It is estimated that 20 million Chinese lost their lives during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Christians stood firm in what was probably the most widespread and harsh persecution the Church has ever experienced. The persecution purified and indigenized the Church. Since 1977 the growth of the Church in China has no parallels in history. Researchers estimate that there were 3075 million Christians by 1990. Mao Zedong unwittingly became the greatest evangelist in history.
The 12-year civil war, earthquakes, and the collapse of the price of coffee, the nation’s main export, impoverished the nation. Over 80% live in dire poverty. An astonishing spiritual harvest has been gathered from all strata of society in the midst of the hate and bitterness of war. In 1960 evangelicals were 2.3% of the population, but today are around 20%.
Ethiopia is in a state of shock. Her population struggles with the trauma of millions of deaths through repression, famine, and war. Two great waves of violent persecution refined and purified the Church, but there were many martyrs. There have been millions coming to Christ. Protestants were fewer than 0.8% of the population in 1960, but by 1990 this may have become 13% of the population.
J.P. Moreland & William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2003), 545.
Religion News blog has a couple of interesting stories that should tilt the head of the missions minded person. This first one is out of Chittagong, Bangladesh:
The Buddhists held a pastor, a church secretary, a village leader and five members from a Baptist church in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, said Caroline Anderson , a well-informed writer in Asia for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, a major mission group.
The captives were all forced to wear Buddhist robes, shave their heads, bow down before a statue of Buddha and clean the temple; they were also threatened with beatings and even death if they tried to escape, she reported.
Detained August 23, they were initially told they would be confined to the temple for one to two weeks, but after four days the Christian captives were released provided they remained Buddhist, missionaries said.
“They are not allowed to pray to Jesus, nor read Bibles, but they say they are still Christian in their hearts,” added a missionary who did not want to use her real name amid security concerns. Despite the difficulties, 10 new Chakma churches have been established with about 300 Chakmas professing their faith in Jesus, Christians said….
Here is the other story coming from New Delhi, India:
Parliament has yet to decide on the proposal, but Christian leaders said they fear it is likely to be approved given that Nepal’s largest political party, led by former Maoist rebels, sympathizes with the deposed king’s wishes for such a ban. The country is forging a new constitution as part of its transition from a Hindu monarchy to a democracy.
Asked if the proposal violated international conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nepal is a signatory, Pandey said the committee looked at “all relevant conventions” as well as “Nepal’s own unique socio-political context” before reaching the consensus.
Pandey is from the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist).
Bishop Anthony Sharma, the first ethnic Nepalese to be ordained as a Jesuit priest, said the panel’s proposal will not alter his congregation’s Christian activities.
“We do not have any fear, and we will continue to do what we are doing, whether it’s a Hindu constitution or a secular one,” he said. “Conversion is by God; people simply respond to Him. Our philosophy is, ‘We propose and not impose.’ The growth of the church in Nepal is due to the Christian witness, and not just by preaching.”
The Rev. Dr. Mangalam Mahajan, president of Koinonia Church Fellowship, said he was hopeful that the new constitution would carry the same provisions as in the Indian Constitution, which allows for free profession, practice and propagation of religion – though some Indian states have “anti-conversion” laws outlawing forced or fraudulent conversion.
“The restriction will affect the Christian work in Nepal,” Mahajan said.
Though the ban on encouraging conversions has been in force for more than five decades, it is unclear how it would be interpreted and implemented in the new constitution. Christians fear that Hindu nationalist groups would misuse the ban to restrict public meetings and social work that could be suspected of being aimed at conversions.
Proselytizing was outlawed in the Himalayan nation in its 1959 Constitution, which replaced the country’s first interim constitution of 1951. Since then, all consecutive constitutions have retained the ban, including the 2007 interim constitution issued a year after the abolition of the world’s only Hindu monarchy.
The bishop of the Believers Church, Narayan Sharma, said he was not surprised at the proposed continuation of the ban.
“We know that the new constitution will restrict conversions to ‘protect’ the country’s demography and thereby its culture,” Sharma said. “But Nepalese Christians live as per the country’s culture. I myself never wear a tie, which is seen as Western.”
He added that the only upside of such a ban would be that restrictions could filter out conversions that are less than genuine.
“Only those who are willing to pay the price will remain,” Sharma said. “It is surprising, though, that socially Nepal is very progressive – homosexual marriages are legal – but when it comes to religion, it becomes conservative.”
This news is with thanks to Religion News Blog. I had posted another story about Russian Satanism earlier, “Russian Satanic Teens Stabbed Their Victims 666 Times Before Cannibalizing Them.” It seems Russia, persons enjoy being told how to think. They have had generation after generation of this ingrained thinking — and now cults and aberrant thinking are flowing more freely in their culture commanding their reality. Something they are use to and that people all over the world show their proclivity for. I ultimately do not know, but the fall of the Wall/Iron Curtain and the failure of their experiment in trying to marry free-markets wit their love for Dialectical Materialism and , in my humble opinion, has helped ravage these persons who are groping in the dark for answers:
February 5, 2010 (edited July 19th)
Two young people are being tried in Russia for organizing a Satan-worshiping sect. Their adepts were subjected to abuse during gatherings, while some girls, including those below the age of consent, were molested.
The sect named “Nobilis Ordo Diaboli” – or the “Noble Order of the Devil” – was engaged in the secret worshiping of Satan in the republic of Mordovia in central Russia since 2003. It was organized by medical student Aleksandr Kazakov, 24, and had up to 75 adepts over the years, investigators say.
Kazakov, who is the prime suspect in the trial, used his charisma to lure young people from well-to-do families into the “Order”. New adepts were recruited from mysticism-loving friends of sect members and through satanic websites and internet message boards. Every initiate had to sign “a contract”, which gave the “high priest” ownership of his or her soul as part of the initiation rituals.
Under Kazakov’s guidance, members gathered in secrecy, dressed in black robes and performed “unholy rites”. They also indulged in orgies and drinking sessions that could last for days. For girls, sex with the man and his closest “apprentices” was a requirement, and those unwilling could be raped. The Satanists also didn’t hesitate to involve minors, say the investigators.
The second man on trial, Denis Danshin, 23, was Kazakov’s second-in-command and was responsible for suppressing dissent and doubt among the flock, sometimes through violence.
When police cracked down on the cult in 2009, they seized numerous books about Satanism and occult paraphernalia like animal sculls. The defendants claim that their sect was a mere role-playing club, and everything the members did was done voluntarily. They also deny charges of sexual abuse and violence.
Take note, that Putin would love to implement this law, which is partially understood and reasonable. Putin, in his atheistic manner, would love to lump the historic faith in with these wacky cult: