Southeast Asia

Overview

Southeast Asia is home to an incredibly diverse population. The island nation of Papua New Guinea alone is home to more than 1,000 people groups who speak more than 800 languages. Christianity has taken root and continues to grow among ethnic minorities who face increasing persecution from oppressive regimes.

Islam is another challenge to native believers in Southeast Asia. Christians in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, face high levels of persecution from radical Muslims, who are pushing Sharia-inspired laws in more communities. Meanwhile, a growing Muslim population on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines continues to breed radicalism and hatred for Christians. In both of these countries, however, Christianity has sustained continued growth.

With the growth of Christianity in Southeast Asia comes an enormous need for trained church leaders. Thousands of rural congregations languish without adequate leadership, falling into unbiblical teaching, moral failure, and syncretism.

In addition to persecution from radical Muslims and hostile governments, native missionaries in Southeast Asia are challenged to minister to unreached people groups in regions of extreme poverty and where there is rampant drug usage. The countries of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand comprise Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle, one of Asia’s two main opium-producing areas. Myanmar is also the world’s largest producer of methamphetamines.

How You Can Make a Difference

Christians are not welcomed into towns and villages dominated by false religions unless they can offer a product or service helpful to the community. Your support for Southeast Asian missionaries enables them to start small businesses as a means to enter communities, build relationships, and be self-supporting. Ministries in Southeast Asia also request assistance for Bibles and training materials in local languages for the many ethnic minority groups that are responding to the gospel message.

Ways To Give

Evangelism & Discipleship

Through the work of one indigenous ministry in Vietnam, more than 3,000 house churches exist in the country’s Central Highlands. A ministry on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines has shared the gospel and planted churches among the island’s 13 Muslim-majority tribes through carefully trained native missionaries. Though ministry inside North Korea is impossible under the present regime, native missionaries established underground churches in six locations in northern China among North Korean women who were trafficked across the border. GIVE NOW to help evangelistic and discipleship ministries like these in Southeast Asia.

Community Engagement

In Indonesia, several Christian Aid Mission-assisted ministries are providing business training to desperately poor pastors and equipping them to start microenterprises to support their families and fledgling churches. GIVE NOW to help community engagement ministries like these in Southeast Asia.

Compassion

In Myanmar, where multitudes fall prey to drug addiction, a ministry is sharing the love of Christ through its two addiction recovery centers where addicts are cared for and discipled in God’s Word. GIVE NOW to help compassion ministries like this one in Southeast Asia.

Exclusive Stories from the Mission Field

Rival Tribes Sow Kingdom Seeds in the Philippines

Members of a tribe in the Philippines lived in tense isolation from each other due to decades of conflict that at times flared into war. Then native missionaries arrived suggesting the unthinkable – rival factions working together in community farming. For the tribal villagers, it would be a necessary evil that brought unthinkable good.

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100-Year-Old Pastor a Balm amid Suffering in Laos

A 100-year-old church leader has long attended a local ministry’s training seminars, where he has encouraged others with his faithfulness in the face of persecution. “He has endured so much in his walk with the Lord, to the point that he was imprisoned eight times for his faith,” the native ministry leader said.

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Missions Insider

Workers in Burma Face Unprecedented Stresses

With some civilians dressed as soldiers and some soldiers dressed as civilians, it is often impossible to know who is responsible for ongoing acts of terrorism in Burma (Myanmar), the leader of a native ministry said.

Hit first by COVID-19 and then a bloody coup that has brought ongoing violence, local missionaries are bringing light to unprecedented depths of darkness.

“The situation is very bad – we are in a battlefield, every day there is killing,” the leader said. “We have bombs exploding everywhere. It is very risky to go outside.”

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