Southeast Asia (MNN) — One Southeast Asian country has taken a positive step towards more religious freedom. A recent decree outlined a path for religious minority groups to be recognized by the state.
Joe Handley of Asian Access says, “This new decree, does give a little more leeway when it comes to religious freedom in the country. Pray for the trajectory of this move. It actually is moving. It’s a mixed bag, but it’s moving in a positive direction.”
This country has a state-sponsored church, not to mention a large number of Christians outside of it. Both groups have to be careful the community doesn’t see them as a threat, and the government tends to discourage proselytism outside of church buildings.
These challenges apply to other religions as well. The country recognizes 4 religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and the Baháʼí faith. Buddhism has the most adherents.
How to pray
Pray the love Christians show for their neighbors will show Jesus’ love. Handley says, “Please pray for the government leaders, that God would open their eyes to the influence that Christians can have in the community because it is profound. I’ve met dozens of pastors and mission groups and missionaries in the country. They’re seeing a transformative impact on the nation. And in very practical ways, not just in terms of spreading the Gospel.”
Pray God would open doors for Asian Access to equip these churches as well. Handley says, “This is a church that’s under a lot of pressure. They need a lot of help, and they need our prayers. Being able to serve them, coming alongside them, and meeting their needs is crucial for the Kingdom’s advance. I had so many of these leaders beg us, ‘Please come. We need your help.’”