Despite rising sectarian violence, a Scripture project moves forward in Southern Asia.

By April 17, 2006

Southern Asia (MNN)–Sectarian violence in Southern Asia is on the rise. There are concerns as to how the trouble will target minority religious groups, like Christians.

The violence is not limited to attacks on Christians. In fact, the situation has deteriorated to the point where Amnesty International is now calling on the government, in accordance with international human rights law, to take steps to prevent advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

They’re further urging immediate measures be taken to prevent further sectarian violence and reprisals.

That is also a challenge of the church. Reprisal attacks following religious violence have in the past led to a spiral of further deaths, injuries and damage.

Not only that, but the instability costs the church in terms of new growth. Audio Scripture Ministries’ Tom Dudenhofer says the trouble caused them to postpone a new project in December.

However, despite the undercurrent, there is a surface stability. Though it is expected to be temporary, it did open doors again. “Audio Scripture Ministries has been contacted by some national believers who are looking to find ways to distribute God’s Word in audio because so many of the people that they work with are illiterate.”

Because Christians were intimately involved with disaster relief as a result of a devastating quake, their testimony got attention in this Islamic republic.

Now, ASM team members are doing a feasibility study not only for the audio production, but also for distribution in the region. That brings another concern: safety.

Even with reports coming in regularly of assaults that are growing more brutal with time, Dudenhofer says the need of the people stands greater. “It seems to us that people are willing and wanting to at least hear God’s Word. They may not be converting to Christ in great numbers but we even hear stories of that. Our greatest need right now is for people to pray for wisdom.”

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