Why do I include the map in today’s blog post? I think it is important that we all get to know a bit more about that part of the world – an area with many nations and nationalities, but one in which many Americans and even some Europeans recognize only about three of the nations on the map!
But Asia includes, of course, several nuclear-power-armed nations and several hotbeds of Islamic extremism, as well as nations of great importance in the world economy; and it is an area which will doubtless continue to burgeon not only in population growth, but also in its overall importance. This can be seen in the way that U.S. strategic policy is now pivoting much of its attention from the Middle East to Asia. Unfortunately, the area is home to a couple of the most anti-religious regimes on earth and several in which persecution against Christians is both widespread and intense. North Korea has the worst record of persecution, with an estimated 50-70,000 Christians in its prison camps. This makes it particularly difficult in such countries not only for those trying to follow the Christian faith, but also for those trying to help them.
On the positive side, the fact that more people live in this area than in the entire rest of the world underscores the great potential of this region for Christian development. The numbers are almost mind-boggling. It is estimated that there are currently some 10,000 new coverts being made to Christianity each day in China. The whole of Asia is certainly an area that we as Christians might do well to know more about if we are to understand the needs of its people and to help them. Whether we are involved in missions work, interaction with Christians in that area, the effort to help the persecuted, or whatever, I think we should know more about this relatively small circle in which so many of our friends live and strive for the faith. What do you think?