International (MNN) — The missionary movement in Asia seems to be growing.
Bruce Johnson of
Asian Access reports, "Europe and the U.S. and North America have been sending missionaries over the past decades. However, I've been so encouraged as I've traveled across Asia, and I keep hearing in country after country where they are sending missionaries to other parts of Asia."
Myanmar is sending missionaries to Japan. China and South Korea are sending missionaries to other parts of Asia. "They have a 'sending' spirit to see the Gospel go forward," said Johnson.
Though the volume of believers is a contributing factor to the movement, their heart for Great Commission is key.
There is a great advantage to this new movement that will allow them to reach new areas.
"Authorities don't look at their faces and see a Westerner, but they see an Asian, and they're able to allow them to move forward. I think there's an openness across borders and across cultures that allows this kind of missionary movement to actually go
forward and be healthy," said Johnson.
Anti-conversion laws that are prevalent in these areas are part of the Gospel, Johnson said.
Opposition is nothing new, but overt persecution is hard to grasp for many Westerners. In Asia there are "people coming to your home and threatening you, to dragging you out into the
street and beating you, to authorities coming and questioning you. There's a broad variety, but I would say, generally, persecution is not a major threat to the Gospel going forward," said Johnson.
Prayer is essential for Asian missionaries who face an overwhelming darkness as well as economic challenges to presenting the Gospel.