Christianity is spreading in South-East Asia


From the Economist:

Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity is growing more quickly in Asia than most parts of the world, with over 200m adherents in 2015, up from 17m in 1970. The largest congregations are in South Korea and the Philippines, where dazzlingly large mega-churches hold tens of thousands of people. But Christian zeal is also increasing in other parts of the continent, including Indonesia and Malaysia, where proselytising among the Muslim majority is well nigh impossible, but where Buddhists, Confucians and Christians of other denominations, almost all of them ethnically Chinese, are proving receptive.

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099-Pioneering Movements in Thailand

Nick and Steph share the story of pioneering movements in Thailand. Steve Parlato is asking the questions.

098-Pioneering Movements in SE Asia with Johnny [podcast]

'Johnny' is an Asian-American. His parents fled SE Asia during the Vietnam War. He grew up in a Buddhist home. After coming to Christ he's back in the region making disciples and starting churches.


Related: Pioneering Movements in SE Asia  with Steve Parlato (Ep: 095) on the Movements Podcast.

Beginning with Buddha, ending with Jesus

Row of Buddha figures, Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Dale Jones begins with Buddha’s Four Nobel Truths and helps Buddhists see how they point to Christ.

Here's an outline of how he does it.

Did you know that Buddha taught 4 important truths that help us to understand about Jesus?

Truth #1: Life is suffering

In Khmer, we have a saying, “Have a body, have suffering”. Is that right? What about rich people, do they have suffering? Does aiming to be richer in the next life rescue us from suffering?

Truth #2: Suffering is caused by sin and bad karma

Is this true? Does that mean that even rich people have sin and bad karma? What about you?

Truth #3: There is a place with no suffering

Buddha called this place nirvana, but Jesus called it the kingdom of the highest heaven. It is the place with no suffering and no sin. This is where Jesus came from and told us all about it. God wants us to be there with him.

Truth #4: How you get to nirvana

Do you know how you get to nirvana? {Usual answers revolve around going to the temple, making offerings, doing good works}

Actually Buddha didn’t teach that at all. What Buddha said is that to get to nirvana you have to be perfect in 8 areas of life: (the Eight-fold path)

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Aspirations
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Behaviour (work)
  5. Right Occupation
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Meditation

How do you think you’re doing on all that? Do you think you have much hope of getting to nirvana when you die?

This is where Buddha and Jesus are different. Buddha said that you have to save yourself. You just have to keep trying over and over again until you reach perfection in these 8 areas of life. But Jesus knew that it would be too hard for you. He loves you and came to earth, took all of your sin and bad karma on himself, so that you can have his perfection and go to be with him in nirvana.

Do you want Jesus to break the cycle of continuous birth, suffering death?

There are some parallels here of how Kevin Greeson begins in the Koran when he shares the gospel with Muslims.