TH191 Missional Approach to World Religions
Class • Bellingham, WA • 1 member • 39 followers
About this group
A discussion group for people working through Logos Mobile Education's TH191 course.Follow
- Hello! Hope this finds you all well and healthy! I'm new around here and would like to download the "Notes document" that highlights the readings for this course. Anybody can help me with that? Thanks! Blessings!
- Pray for Malaysia (Info from Operation World, 7th ed.) Population 27.9 million. Christians 9.3%. Evangelical Christians 4.3%. Largest Religion Muslim. Fastest Growing Religion Non-religious. • Islam grows in both numbers and influence. The constitution guarantees religious freedom for all faiths, but laws and actions threaten this. Over 100 radical Islamist groups push for rule by shari’a law for all of Malaysia. State laws prohibit evangelism of Muslims in 10 of 13 states, and conversion from Islam to another faith is illegal in all but one state. Pray for wisdom and courage for all Muslims who choose to follow Christ. Laws and society isolate Malays from the gospel. Pray for them to encounter Jesus! • Church growth is steady, and churches now engage more in society and politics. Christians cooperate more than ever before, even across denominational and racial lines. Malaysia has a good number of Bible colleges, seminaries, and church-training programmes, but many smaller churches still have no trained pastor. The government forces Malaysians to use Malay as a common language, but restricts its use for Christian literature and church services. It fears that Christian use of Malay will cause Malays to become Christian. One main issue is the ban of the word Allah (God) that is used in Christian Bibles and literature. Pray for all faith communities to have freedom to use the entire language. Expatriate Christian workers have declined in numbers due to visa restrictions, but various ministries depend on their input. Praise God that the mission vision of the Malaysian Church continues to increase (over 30 active agencies). Peninsular Malaysia (PM) • PM is only 3% Christian. 80% of Malaysia’s population live here, but only 25% of its Christians. Praise God that Christianity now grows among all non-Muslim ethnic groups. Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit to allow believers to preserve and build up the Church, despite the pressures from Islam and non-Christian family members. • Pray for the less evangelized. The Malaysian Church has the resources and cultural knowledge to reach them, but it also needs the courage and commitment. • The Malays are one of the world’s largest unreached groups. Some now worship in house groups and multi-ethnic churches, but no public congregation of ethnic Malays exists. • The Chinese have a significant Christian minority (mostly among the urban, English-speaking Chinese). Only half the 450 Chinese villages have a church, and few of those who speak Hainanese, Hakka, or Teochew are Christian. • The Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia (PM) are original inhabitants of the Malaysian peninsula. The Malay-dominated government considers them Muslim, but most practise animism. 8 of the 19 groups have no churches or believers. • Indian Malaysians make up a high number of the country’s poor. They include many Tamil Christians, but also other less-reached minorities, especially Punjabis and Telugus. • Drug addicts need effective Christian ministry. Addiction is a major problem, especially among Malay youth. They generally face rejection from family, and often turn to crime. Sabah • Sabah is the nation’s poorest state, with 26% below the poverty line. This beautiful region suffers from racial prejudice, corruption, crime, drug trafficking, and piracy. The government gets significant income from Sabah’s natural resources, but it fails to invest it wisely in ways that help the local people. • Peoples who need prayer. Praise God for rapid church growth among the Chinese, Kadazan-Dusan, Tagal, and Murut peoples! Pray for local Christians to engage and evangelize their society, as expatriate mission and ministry is difficult here. • The Muslim peoples of Sabah are almost untouched by the gospel. Pray for specific outreach to Filipino-related peoples (mostly refugees), Indonesians (mostly illegal immigrants), and local Malay and Muslim tribal peoples. • Indigenous (Bumiputera) groups have had large people movements to Christ, but the Church has neglected them. Few languages have the New Testament. Tribal peoples suffer the greatest levels of poverty, unemployment, and lack of education. Sarawak • Sarawak enjoys spiritual blessing, with 70 years of God at work! The majority of Iban and nearly half the Chinese are Christian. But the Church faces many trials. Materialism in urban areas pulls people away from faith, and pressure from Muslims is strong in rural areas. Ministry and discipleship are extremely difficult due to the remote location, and due to the traditional animist beliefs of the Iban people (former headhunters). Pray for churches to overcome their trials! Ask God to call more pastors and Christian workers to this needy but responsive province. • Pray for Christians to assist the poor, and to reach out in love to other peoples around them who suffer even greater needs. Most indigenous groups remain poor, especially in rural areas. The government takes advantage of their situation, and the churches often overlook them. Many have little opportunity for education, employment, or healthcare.
- Pray for Iran (Info from Operation World, 7th ed.) Population 75.1 million. Christians 0.5%. Evangelical Christians 0.2%. Largest Religion Muslim. Fastest Growing Religion Muslim. • Massive numbers of Iranians came to Jesus in recent years! From only 500 Muslim-background believers in 1979, estimates suggest the number is now at least 100,000, and some say as many as 1 million. The Church in Persia has not grown this fast since the 7th century. In Iran, a person can receive a death sentence for apostasy (abandoning religious faith). This growth is a remarkable move of the Holy Spirit, with many signs and wonders, dreams and visions. • The 1979 Islamic Revolution promised peace and prosperity, but 30 years later it still has not come. Instead, a legacy of bloodshed, cruelty, injustice, corruption, and economic hardship left many disappointed with the conservative religious leaders and their narrow version of Islam. An estimated 13 million Iranians live below the poverty line. Around 200,000 of Iran’s best-educated young people emigrate every year. Iran has one of the highest rates of opium addiction in the world, 200,000 street children, and widespread (but hidden) prostitution. Iran is an ancient, noble, and proud civilization. But in the modern era, these struggles have made many people, especially young people, very open to the gospel. Pray that Iranians’ desires for greatness, prosperity, freedom, and even for righteousness might ultimately be met through worship of Jesus. • Religious persecution grew more intense since 2005, especially toward the Baha’i, Sufi Muslims, and Christians (particularly believers from a Muslim background). The government rules that only Armenians and Assyrians can be Christian. Ethnic Persians must be Muslim. This makes almost all Christian activity illegal, especially in Persian languages. Yet the regime’s harsh treatment of Christians only seems to increase church growth! Pray that the body of Christ might continue to multiply and mature despite persecution. • The majority of the wider Christian community are Christian Armenians, with a smaller number of Assyrians and Chaldeans. They have different cultures and languages from the Muslims around them. They live with a measure of peace in their communities, but often emigrate to give their families a more stable life. Pray that Jesus might shine through their lives, and that they might have a burden for their Muslim neighbours. • Evangelical churches before the revolution were mostly small and struggling. The traumatic changes and suffering that followed gave these churches a brief period of renewal, outreach, and many conversions! Many then adopted house church models because of intimidation from the government and the martyrdom of several church leaders. Pray for creative access to programmes that will develop capable, well-trained leaders for the underground Church. • Iran contains some of the largest unreached, unengaged peoples in the world. Missions are not free to minister in Iran, but some tentmaking opportunities exist. Pray for the door to Iran to open in God’s perfect timing. • The Zoroastrians (Parsees) follow an ancient Persian religion founded 1,000 years before Christ. • The Baha’i religion started in Iran, but the government seeks to drive its followers out. Very little Christian love and witness to them exists among either the 300,000 in Iran, or the 5– 7 million worldwide. • The nomadic and semi-nomadic Luri, Bakhtiari, and Qashqai live in the Zagros Mountains. Only a few dozen known believers exist from these groups. Persian Christians have begun to reach out to them. • The Turkic Azeri and Turkmen in the north have had almost no positive contact with Christianity. Azeris form the largest minority group within Iran. • The Gypsy communities have no Christian workers committed to outreach among them. • The Persian-speaking Jews descend from those exiled to Babylon 2,700 years ago. Their numbers decline as more and more move away to escape harassment, but a number have become active, witnessing Christians! • Ministry to Iranians increased greatly, both inside Iran and abroad. Christian satellite-TV broadcasts and Christian websites in Persian languages have an incredible impact, and even reach to remote villages with the gospel. Millions listen to Christian radio despite government restrictions, and send in thousands of response emails and letters. Scripture has become more available, mostly smuggled into the country. Several ministries reach out to the Iranian diaspora (around 4 million) through evangelism, outreach training, church planting, discipleship, and leadership training. Many diaspora Christians visit Iran and powerfully minister to Iranians there.
- Pray for Kyrgyzstan (Info from Operation World, 7th ed) Population 5.6 million. Christians 5.2%. Evangelical Christians 0.7%. Largest Religion Muslim. Fastest Growing Religion Muslim. • The government needs courage, resources, and even miracles to make right the economy and society. The regimes that followed Communism have so far only brought more corruption, crime, and poverty. Many people migrate from rural to urban areas, which results in large slum populations in Bishkek. Others leave the country to find work. Pray for Christians to find good, legal jobs. High rates of alcoholism, drug trafficking, gambling, and prostitution create huge challenges. The poor, elderly, and disabled suffer the most. Pray that believers can address these challenges, and positively affect their society and economy. • The vast majority of Kyrgyz are Muslim by culture, but underneath the surface most people fear the “evil eye”, use charms, and practise ancestor worship. The occult, demonic forces, and shamans hold great influence. Muslim missionaries from several nations come to strengthen and purify Islam. Pray for believers to stand firm, and to demonstrate the power and love of Christ. Kyrgyzstan has more religious freedom than many nearby countries, even with its government restrictions. Ask God to increase the harvest of believers among the peoples of Kyrgyzstan! • Christianity was limited to the non-indigenous communities before 1990 (mostly Russians, Ukrainians, Germans), but Kyrgyz believers now form a significant proportion of the nation’s Christians! Only 45 Protestant congregations existed in 1990, but now they number almost 300, and many more with the illegal house churches included. More churches now worship in Kyrgyz, with many effective Kyrgyz Christian leaders. Pray for unity and cooperation among the different denominations, cultures, and ethnicities. • Missionary concern grows among believers of Kyrgyzstan, for their own people, for other Central Asian peoples, and beyond. Several hundred expatriate Christians (from Asia, the Americas, and Europe) have jobs in this country, and seek to minister sensitively. The greatest potential for service may be in community development, medical services, and business. Pray for the less evangelized, who mostly live in rural areas: • The partly nomadic Kyrgyz usually live in more remote villages. Few have heard of Christ. • The Fergana Valley (south) spans also across Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Tajik and Uzbek minorities (770,000 combined) are mostly unreached. Islam is most strict here, and the few successful church plants meet significant opposition. • The Dungan descended from Chinese Muslim refugees. A significant multi-agency effort to reach them began in 2000. • Many smaller ethnicities around the country have little to no specific outreach: Tatars, Chinese, Uyghur, Jews, and others.
- Pray for Mongolia (Info from Operation World, 7th ed.) Population 2.7 million. Christians 1.7%. Evangelical Christians 1.2%. Largest Religion Buddhist. Fastest Growing Religion Christian. • Christianity in Mongolia is a reality for the first time in modern history! Perhaps only 4 Mongolian believers existed in 1989, but by 2010 over 40,000 believers worshipped in hundreds of churches and groups around the country! The Church is less than one generation old, but it already sends missionaries to unreached areas, runs national ministries, and develops its own Mongolian-style worship music. • The difficult economic situation deeply affects every area of life (employment, education, children’s well-being, others). A few became rich in the new market economy, but many struggle in deep poverty. Economic difficulties led to increased social problems such as crime, alcoholism, prostitution, and homelessness in the cities. Most mission agencies work in health, relief, education, or literature programmes. These opportunities demonstrate Christ’s compassionate love. • Mongolia’s traditional religions (Lamaistic Buddhism, shamanism) became popular again after Communism ended (1990). Traditional superstitions and even occult practices have a strong hold on most people’s lives. Young Mongolians often consult shamans for health, finance, and relationship issues. Pray for complete freedom and changed lives through the Lord Jesus. • Discipleship and church leadership. Most Christian ministry is based in Ulaanbaatar, so rural churches especially have little support or teaching. A TEE programme that serves the faraway congregations may be the Mongolian Church’s greatest need! Blue Sky Aviation (Mission Aviation Fellowship) helps address the needs for evangelism, training, and humanitarian work throughout the vast rural countryside. • The less evangelized. Pray for foreign workers to truly learn and adapt to Mongolian culture, and for all believers to work in unity. • Nomads find their traditional life difficult to maintain. Pray for ministries that demonstrate the gospel to them, and a church model that suits their mobile lifestyle. • Kazakhs are a majority in the far west. A few are Christian, but most are Muslim. Muslim missionaries seek to bring them back to Islam. • Among the ethnic minorities, the Chinese and Russian communities have a few believers, but little outreach goes to the Kalmyk, Tuvan, and Evenki peoples.
- Pray for Cambodia (Info from Operation Word, 7th ed.) Population 15.1 million: Christians 3.2%. Evangelical Christians 1.6%. Largest Religion Buddhist. Fastest Growing Religion Christian. • Spiritual darkness persists in Cambodia, from the many spirit shrines, the powerful grip of Buddhism that opposes Truth, and the widespread loss of morals. Only prayer will lift it. The enemy of souls makes people suffer under terrible abuses and oppressive poverty. The drug and sex trades hold power over many people. Criminals exploit the high number of unprotected children and young people. Pray for the light of the gospel to shine on individual lives and all social structures in Cambodia. Christians can make a difference in the areas of justice, rehabilitation, orphanages, healthcare, and development. Cambodia also needs outside help with projects in agriculture, fisheries, water management, and education. • Cambodian people need freedom and deliverance from past sin, hatred, suffering, and abuse. This comes through the blood of Jesus. The violent Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979) destroyed millions of its own people. Ask God to heal deep psychological wounds through the Holy Spirit and counselling ministry. Many of the former Khmer Rouge who took part in genocide now follow Jesus. Pray for them to live in the fullness of God’s forgiveness for past crimes. Christians can bring peace and reconciliation. Churches can teach children and young people how to live in a healthy family. • The Cambodian Church survived great trial and grew! Missionaries worked for 47 years before breakthrough began, then genocide came and destroyed most of the Church. 90% of Christians died or fled to Thai refugee camps. God reaped a great harvest among those in the camps, but only a few thousand believers survived inside Cambodia. But churches spread to all 19 provinces during the 1990s, and now 470,000 Christians worship God there! Churches need mature and well-trained leadership. Most educated people died in the Khmer Rouge slaughter. Pray for pastors to have wisdom, holiness, and power in the Spirit. • Mission Kampuchea 2021. The national Churches share this vision to see a church in every village and people group in Cambodia by 2021. Currently 11,000 villages need a church. Pray for the less-reached Buddhists, the 18 unevangelized tribal groups, the Muslim Cham people, and 6 Chinese language groups. Cambodian churches and Christians from abroad can partner to share Jesus with these people groups. Pray also for Chinese believers from abroad to come as apostles to the Chinese peoples in Cambodia.
- Let the power of Holy Spirit outshines the Bhuddist monks chants and the twirl of the wind results in more miracle healing on churches, let those who encountered the Lord Jesus in dreams and visions, specifically to the enlightened teeners who are going to be monks, Lord Jesus reveals Himself to them during their praying rituals, the sound of chimes in the wind ...the Hosts of Angels come into their prayers and whispher to their inner ears, the name YESUDA...the name Jesus in Hindi language, Amen...it is the seed of faith...and they seek this powerful voice when they encounter missionaries in their villages...their spiritual ears and spiritual understanding be fortified, in Jesus Name and instead serving in their temples, be converted and that zeal with divine knowledge and divine appointment of Favor be upon these young teeners in orange tunics, Amen....then they will serve, shall serve the Kampucheans Bhuddist to become enlightened with Yesuda's Living Power Amen
- India prayers (cont.) • Training for Christian workers is an urgent need. • The life and health of the Church depend on pastors, teachers, evangelists, and missionaries. Many new believers come to faith through large rallies, healings, or miracles, but have few opportunities for Christian discipleship. Most leaders and pastors received very little preparation for their work. • Pray for the formal training institutions. India now has over 100 degree-level seminaries! Many are evangelical. Bible schools number over 1,000. Many teach practical skills (such as church planting) in addition to theology. Training centres for indigenous workers (to train church planters) now also play a significant role. But much more is needed. Pray for creative, effective models to reach the country’s pastors and leaders with Bible teaching. • All Christians need training to be effective ambassadors for Christ in their society. The Indian Church must learn to have greater impact in the workplace and in national life. Currently most Indians associate Christianity with the deprived and lower classes of society (80% of Indian Christians come from Dalit or tribal communities). The gospel has not yet made a significant impact on business, politics, arts, or culture. • Christian missions, church planting, and research initiatives in India have all grown and matured since the 1960s, when foreign groups largely controlled much of this work. • Over 1,000 Indian mission agencies send out 100,000 church planters, evangelists, and social workers. Tens of thousands of new congregations now exist as a result! A truly Indian Church follows Christ, and lives out the gospel. Over 500 Indians serve as missionaries in foreign countries. • Networks like the Indian Missions Association (IMA) encourage cooperation and fellowship. Several agencies collect data on each state, city, language, and people group of India. The Church has never before had such clarity about the unfinished task of evangelism! Pray for mature leaders, good member care, and cooperation for the gospel’s sake. • Only 1,000 expatriate missionaries serve in India. Many find it difficult to obtain visas. Business and medical visas provide good opportunities for workers who authentically serve in those areas. • The All India Christian Council serves all denominations, with over 5,000 agencies, NGOs, denominations, and institutions that work for human rights, social justice, religious freedom, and protection of minorities. Unity now grows where there was a spirit of division.
- Pray for India (info. from Operation World, 7th ed.) Population 1.2 billion. Christians 5.9%. Evangelical Christians 2.2%. Largest Religion Hindu. Fastest Growing Religion Christian. • India has more human need than any other nation. We must respond to India’s suffering with intelligent action and sustained prayer! • Poverty affects hundreds of millions. In India, many people are not just poor but have nothing. The largest cities have enormous slums, but most poor people still live in rural villages. They usually come from the Dalit/ Bahujan/ Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and often end up as “debt slaves” to corrupt land owners. Both their debt and the slavery pass to the next generation, so this will not end without change. Pray that those who suffer might see God’s justice and love demonstrated to them. • Health concerns affect masses of people. The lack of adequate sanitation and clean water increases diseases, which mostly impact children and the poor. Around 900,000 people per year die from drinking unclean water, or from breathing polluted air. India has the world’s 3rd-largest HIV-positive population and one-third of the world’s tuberculosis cases. Leprosy originated in India, which has over 1,000 leper colonies. Most of the 15 million cases of blindness could be prevented with enough doctors or optometrists. • Women and children suffer the most. No country can match India’s tragic need. Pray for state programmes and loving Christian ministries to address these desperate needs. Pray that God will change attitudes and practices in society to reflect His care for women and children. • Children in crisis. Of the 400 million children, possibly up to 35 million are orphans. 11 million are abandoned (90% are girls). 3 million live on the streets. Some families sell children into slavery to pay off family debts. Two-thirds of all children suffer physical abuse, and half suffer some kind of sexual harassment or abuse. Over 1 million end up in prostitution (mostly Nepalis and Bangladeshis). • Women and girls. Society prefers male children, so some families abort, abandon, or even kill girl babies. The female population today lacks 35 million girls when compared with the male population. Women have lower rates of literacy and education, and domestic abuse is a widespread problem. Some young girls get dedicated to the ancient service of temple prostitution. • Instability and unrest threaten peace inside and outside the country. India dominates South Asia and the whole Indian Ocean region. Relations with Pakistan are continually tense and at times violent. China also disputes some of India’s northern borders. The armed Communist militant groups within Central and Eastern India continue to grow in number and threaten national security. A number of minority separatist groups in the northeast use violence to promote their various causes. Throughout India, Hindu militant groups follow the ideal that “India is Hindu only”, and use intimidation or violence against Muslims, Christians, and other minority groups.
- Pray for Nepal The following information comes from Patrick Johnson, Operation World, 7th ed. Population 29.9 million. Christians 2.8%. Evangelical Christians 2.8%. Largest Religion Hindu. Fastest Growing Religion Christian. • The Nepali Church grew through many trials. The first church started in 1952 with 29 Christians. It grew to 200,000 believers by 1990, and persecution was very strong. By 2010, 850,000 followers of Christ gathered in nearly 10,000 groups! Now all 75 districts have at least 1 church. Growth came through prayer and the willingness to suffer for the gospel. Praise God for the Nepali believers’ courage to evangelize, even though they risk fines or prison. The law guarantees freedom of religion, but non-Hindus cannot spread their faith. Opponents of the gospel claim that Christianity is a foreign religion, but the large majority of Nepali Christians worship and fellowship in indigenous structures and networks. • The next generation of Nepali Christians must build on this good foundation. Pray that the first generation of Christians will hand over leadership well to the second generation. For years, no formal training was avIndiaailable. Now over 15 Bible colleges and seminaries exist, and some churches and agencies offer training courses. But the fast-growing Church urgently needs more leadership training. How can a Church so poor release enough pastors to serve the flock? Some look for foreign donors. Pray that leaders learn to be tentmakers, and that congregations learn to support their pastors. Pray for perseverance for the believers, and that no laws or threats will keep them from sharing the gospel! • Social needs remain a huge challenge in this beautiful but troubled land. Despite much progress, Nepal’s poverty, political struggles, geography, and caste system leave many people suffering and oppressed. Pray that the Church takes this opportunity to engage with the needs in Nepali society. • Around 2.6 million children work as child labourers. 70% of them work more than 9 hours a day. Until Nepal gets children out of the workplace and into school, development for the future is impossible. • Up to 300,000 Nepali girls work in the sex trade in India, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Traffickers target poor and lower-caste girls. Nepali Christians reach and rescue some of these girls in Nepal and in Mumbai. • Millions suffer from preventable diseases. Lack of basic sanitation causes over 80% of diseases. 30,000 child deaths each year result from malnutrition. 90% of trafficked girls who return are HIV-infected, and AIDS has rapidly spread. • The impact of the caste system continues to leave many oppressed, especially Dalits. Discrimination based on caste is illegal, but still very common. • Holistic ministry powerfully demonstrates the love of Christ in practical and spiritual ways. Foreign agencies work in hospitals, leprosy treatment, agriculture, education, and with society’s most vulnerable. Nepali Christian NGOs also work to address high unemployment, illiteracy, environmental problems, and dependence on foreign aid. Praise God for greater unity among Christians, and for greater cooperation between Christianity andother faiths. Christian Efforts for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation formed in 2003, and later joined a peace-building process with representatives of all other faiths. Pray for all Christians to include social transformation as a key part of evangelism. • Pray for the less reached. Around 55% of the population are unevangelized, and 309 peoples/ castes remain unreached. William Carey (the well-known British missionary to India) translated the New Testament into Nepali in 1821. But only 8 of Nepal’s 80 languages have a complete Bible translation. • The high-caste Hindus (more than 30% of the population). They respond more to the gospel in Nepal than in India, but Hinduism keeps most in bondage. Few openly proclaim Christ as Lord. • The Awadhi and Bhojpuri speakers on the Indian border. • The mountain peoples, who are almost entirely Tibetan-related Buddhists. The famous Sherpa of the Everest region do not have a single Church, and have only around 50 believers. • The increased number of Muslims, mostly Bengali, Kashmiri, or Urdu-speaking farmers or labourers.
- Pray for Asia Pop 4.2 billion. Christians 8.8% (368.1 million). Evangelical Christians 3.5% (146.9 mill.) Largest Religion Muslim. Fastest growing religion Christian. [For this listing, Asia does not include any of Russia’s territory, but does include the Middle East/ West Asia and the Caucasus nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.] Asia has approximately 24% of the world’s surface area, but over 60% of the world’s population. It contains more than 250 cities of over 1 million people, 11 of which are over 10 million. Asia has the world’s largest city, Tokyo/ Yokohama (around 37 million people). All Languages About 2,322 distinct languages (33.6% of the world’s languages). Languages with Scriptures 161 Bibles, 270 New Testaments, 220 Old or New Testament portions. Work is underway on 418 language projects.
- I too found that I had an outdated edition when I decided to start posting information for prayers, and I was disappointed that I couldn't get it in Logos and had to get the Kindle version.
- Yes, there's a lot to digest; so one of the advantages of the Mobile Ed. approach is that busy people can fit their pace to the demands of their own life. Hang in there, and I'll hand in there with you.
- Sadly or not, Operation World is one of those books that I "need" to hold in my hands. To able to integrate into Logos would help make up for my not being able to hold it in my hands but then "He's got the whole world in His hands" might lose bit - I mean how would it sound to say he's got the whole computer/kindle in his hands?