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November 1987


Editorial Comment

It's Happening: More and More People are Caught Up in the "Generic," Overall Cause of Missions

Generic Missions Promotion Larry Walker Style

ACMC: Bringing it Down to the Grass Roots

Mission Policy and Strategy Statements

Around the World

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Around the World

Third Muslim Radio Station on Air
The third private Islamic radio station in Western Europe is now on the air in Switzerland. Called the "Voice of God," it is run by the Islamic Cultural Foundation in Geneva.

In addition to teaching the Koran in Arabic, English, and French, the station carries news, music, and public service programs. There are other Muslim stations in Denmark and the Netherlands. 


Hesselgrave Reinforces Consensus on Year 2000
In an article published in the November 4th issue of the Evangelical Beacon, the official magazine of the Evangelical Free Church of America, Dr. David Hesselgrave of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School spoke for a growing consensus of evangelical leaders that it is indeed possible to complete the task of evangelizing the world by the year 2000.

Noting that a people is "reached" or "evangelized" only when (1) "they have had an understandable hearing of the Gospel," and (2) when they are "geographically and culturally accessible to a viable, evangelizing church," he says, "It is altogether too easy to settle for preaching the Gospel and assuming that it has been understood."

"Emphasizing establishment of a church assures us that at least some have understood the Gospel and also makes possible continuing evangelization," he adds.

His article will be reprinted in the upcoming March issue of World Evangelization, the bi-monthly magazine of the Lausanne Committee. Reprints will be available from Mission Frontiers. 

-Roberta Winter

Ethiopian Church Grows Rapidly; Government Hostility Declines
As Ethiopia's Marxist regime becomes institutionalized, there has been a discernible relaxation of pressure on believers.

In the early days of the military coup, thousands of Christians were imprisoned and most of the church buildings "nationalized."

As a result, Christians developed an intricate and highly organized network of house churches that have thrived even though houses are subject to confiscation and members to imprisonment if worship services are discovered.

In recent months, however, local church leaders report the government has looked the other way as Christians meet in their house churches.

There are thought to be tens of thousands of house churches. In 1986 alone, the Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus reported an increase of 50,000 new members, making it the fastest growing Lutheran church in the world.

In an interview, Tokunboh Adeyemo, World Evangelical Fellowship's chairman, predicted that the current relatively relaxed atmosphere should continue "as long as the present head of state. Colonel Mengistu, remains in power."

At the same time, Adeyemo said, while he believes Mengistu is "more level-headed than some other party members," he will be pressed by the ruling communist Workers' Party lo carry out the program he inherited-namely, to close all the churches. Meanwhile, there is little doubt that the Ethiopian church will continue to expand at an accelerated pace. 


Despite Growth, Japan Needs Churches
The Church Information Service in Japan reports that, with a net increase of 154, there were 6,499 Protestant churches in Japan as of November 1986. However, 1,835 towns and villages in Japan do not yet have a single church.

÷Asia Theological News

Missionary Interest Grows in Korea
Church and mission leaders in South Korea have long claimed that God spared their country in the war with North Korea in order that Korean churches might be a light to the nations. God's intervention was so unmistakable, they say, that it called them, in effect, to a special mission. They have responded wholeheartedly.

Korean Christians see themselves as the sparkplug to reach not only Asia but the rest of the world as well. They want to send out 10,000 missionaries and have at least one Korean missionary in every country of the world by the year 2000. There are already more than 500 Korean missionaries in 47 countries. 


New Head of C&MA Calls for Bold New Step to Unreached
Dr. David Rambo, new president of the Christian and 'Missionary Alliance denomination, called church members worldwide to commit themselves to a "new frontiersmanship." He pointed out that although the church ministers in 53 countries "alongside churches numbering in the thousands and believers in the hundreds of thousands," there is still a major pioneering job to be done.

Rambo commented that though the Alliance "as a missionary society emphasizing pioneer missions" has played a crucial role in helping evangelize "vast areas of the world," it must now begin to consciously identify unevangelized peoples rather than nations and concentrate on how to reach them.

He further spoke of the "140 million people in the geographical areas of our responsibility," and added that in order to reach them "we can call on our people without apology to give in a sacrificial way. And I believe they will."

-Roberta Winter

Canada Home to Many Unreached Peoples
Though many Christians feel one has to leave one's own country in order to be involved in "real" missions, there are plenty of opportunities for strategic frontier mission efforts right here in North America.

In a recent article in Pulse magazine, Gary Brun listed statistics for Canada.

Between 1971 and 1981, he said, India was the third leading source of immigrants to Canada; already, 60,000 to 70,000 East Indians have settled in the Vancouver area; other cities have populations as much as 20 percent East Indian.

Twenty cities in British Columbia have Sikh temples, yet it appears that the only outreach to Sikhs in the entire province is being carried on in Vancouver by a missionary team just now learning the Punjabi language!

One of the oldest Muslim communities in Canada is in Lac la Biche, Alberta, where 15 percent of the 2500 residents are Muslim. There are over 76,000 Muslims in Alberta and British Columbia.

The Muslim presence in Calgary is felt strongly enough that a group recently attacked a Calgary mosque. Participants vowed to continue attacks until the Muslims leave. 


Amity Press Unlikely to Print Additional Bibles
Dr. Paul Kauffman, president of Asian Outreach, is only one among many Christian leaders who warn that the $6.7 million printing press given to China's Amity Foundation by the United Bible Societies may do little to solve the Bible shortage in China.

According to an agreement with the United Bible Societies, Amity Press is to give priority to the printing of Bibles, Testaments, and other Christian materials. Yet, Kauffman said, "it seems that the Amity Foundation . . . has a very different idea about how the $6.7 million press will be used."

Kauffman quoted an April 1986 letter from the Amity Foundation to Hong Kong Christian Weekly that said, 'The press will . . . undertake all kinds of printing projects, not limited to Bibles. If the churches inside or outside of China commission/ contract to print Bibles, the press will do its best to give priority to this project, . . . (but) the quantity of the Bibles printed is to be decided by the commissioning /contracting party and the press. It is not to be decided by the United Bible Societies."

It is the phrase "to be decided by . . . the press" that has Kauffman and others worried. Amity's top leaders are Bishop Ding Guangxun, chairman of the government-sponsored Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and president of the China Christian Council (CCC), and Han Wenzao, a CCC vice president

According to Kauffman, the TSPM and CCC refuse to recognize the Chinese house church movement; thus, instead of acknowledging the existence of 30 to 50 million or more Christians in China, they say there are only about three million÷a population requiring relatively few new Bibles every year.

Brent Fulton of China Ministries International, pointed out that the Press's stated annual Bible printing "capacity" of "250,000 complete Bibles, 500,000 New Testaments, and other Christian books''-is "barely 20 percent" of the actual equipment capacity.

"Our sources indicate the state-of-the-art Amity press can print, bind, and finish at least 250,000 complete Bibles in a month," he said. Further, since "the CCC already prints more than 250,000 Bibles a year," it may very well be that the press was not acquired in order to increase total production, but "simply (to) switch production from the presses they've been using to the newer Amity press."


Tribal Missionaries in Bolivia Harrassed
The Bolivian Congress was recently presented with a request for the "immediate expulsion of the New Tribes Mission (NTM), the Evangelical Swiss Mission, and others from the indigenous communities of the Bolivian Amazon Basin."

Missionaries are accused of "gradual ethnocide." Wycliffe Bible Translators was singled out for destroying "almost entirely the indigenous cosmology and religion." Ironically, Wycliffe was presented the "Order of the Condor," Bolivia's highest award, when it completed work in Bolivia in 1985.

The anti-missions campaign followed charges that NTM kidnapped and forcibly relocated some Indians. The accusations were retracted when it turned out that the Indians had been transported to be interpreters for Bolivian workers. However, New Tribes' field chairman Dick Wyma sees a "gathering storm" of opposition.

Ostensibly, those who oppose the missionaries are promoting human rights, self-determination, and freedom from foreign exploitation for the Indians. "But," said Wyma, "they organize economic cooperatives which in many cases fail because they do not fit the indigenous cultural context"


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