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A satellite image showing the Sundarbans. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)Bangladesh (MNN) Yesterday, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal, India, near the border of Bangladesh. The storm originated in the Bay of Bengal and was the strongest storm ever recorded in those waters. Before making landfall, the storm dissipated slightly to the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane. The storm first landed at the Sundarbans, a forest reserve that sits on the border of India and Bangladesh and is home to 96 protected tigers. With 165 mph winds and 16-foot waves at landfall, Amphan damaged many old and poorly constructed buildings...

Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Jakarta floods in 2013.Indonesia (MNN) — Jakarta already faced crisis earlier this year when flooding ravaged the region. Although a majority of the flooding has subsided, rainfall continues to threaten Indonesia’s already-sinking capital. And as if the weather hadn’t already taken its toll on Jakarta, the city is now “the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia,” according to Juserdi Purba of Asian Access. As of Friday, Indonesia had more than 10,000 cases and 800 deaths. For now, many of those cases are found in Jakarta. Even though the flood...

Novel Coronavirus Expert meeting in Japan. This was the first meeting on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)Japan (MNN) — Japan faces a new wave of confirmed coronavirus cases as the government starts testing more people. Many have referred to the April uptick as a second wave, the first happening in March, but Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access views it as a delayed wave. Up until the beginning of April, Japan had not seen many cases, even though the virus first arrived in January. Read our full COVID-19 coverage here. Takazawa says of active cases, “I think the number has been steadily growing. 

International (MNN) — False worldviews in South Asia about men and women lead to increased domestic violence as billions are confined to their homes by COVID-19. Adrian DeVisser, the Vice President for Partnership Development at Asian Access, says ugly views towards women already exist, but the isolation is compounding the issue. In the cultural context of South Asia, which is informed by Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, De Visser says, “[People] believe that man is [like a] god, and the wife happens to be not a god. For instance, a lady in Asian contexts sometimes find it difficult to call her husband by name. She will call him by the name of the child and say,... 

India (MNN) — Will India end or extend its current nationwide shut-down? A national shelter-in-place order went into effect on March 24 and is scheduled to end on Tuesday. However, Prime Minister Modi plans to discuss options tomorrow with state leaders before making a final decision. India’s coronavirus cases more than doubled last week, and the number of new infections continues to rise. At least one state already extended its restrictions through the end of the month. See our global coronavirus coverage here. Many people live hand-to-mouth in India, and believers want to demonstrate Christ’s love by helping those in need. David Dayalan of Asian Access says the lockdown makes this practically impossible...

Philippines (MNN) — “Desperate times call for desperate measures”: it’s a phrase used to describe extreme action taken under dire circumstances. Some may use this to describe the president of the Philippines’ statement last week regarding lockdown violaters. But, as Herman Moldez of Asian Access explains, things aren’t always what they seem. A political group stirred up protestors in Metro Manila last week, and – after negotiating for an hour – police arrested dozens of people who refused to go home. “It is not really right at this point of time to gather these people and protest because that will only aggravate the situation,” Moldez says, referring to the pandemic and containment measures...

Tokyo 2020 OlympicsJapan (MNN) — The coronavirus dealt another discouraging blow this week. Officials are postponing the Summer Olympic Games to 2021. The Olympics have been cancelled three times but never postponed. “Japan as a society is disappointed that we’re having to delay. Likewise, all of us that are doing ministry related to the Olympics have a sense of disappointment. However, we also want the world to be safe,” Joe Handley of Asian Access tells MNN. “We realize what’s at stake so we’re trying to reach out in a different way to be the hands and feet of Christ in the midst of a crisis.” Find our full coronavirus coverage here, and use this new Prayercast video to...

Japan (MNN) Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has closed schools in Japan through the month of March amid concerns about the upcoming Olympic Games. The Northern Japanese island Hokkaido has also been quarantined due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and Prime Minister Abe asked citizens to stay inside during the weekend. The move has surprised many, including working parents who now have to care...

China (MNN) — A coronavirus continues to spread through China and to other countries, presenting new challenges for Asian Access. The coronavirus first appeared in the city of Wuhan in China. Like the SARS coronavirus in 2003, this currently unnamed virus has mutated to be able to infect not just animals, but humans as well. Precisely how it made the jump from animals to humans is unknown. The virus causes pneumonia, making it potentially deadly. With almost 3,000 confirmed cases around China, over 80 have died. China has quarantined more than 50 million people, and has... {addthis off}

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Mission Network News is a mission news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world. In doing so we hope to educate and motivate Christians to prayer, participation, and support of missionary work to help further the Great Commission.

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