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A scene from Inner Mongolia; image by marywenstrom from PixabayChina (MNN) — Students and parents from Inner Mongolia gathered to protest a new Chinese policy that would require students to use Mandarin textbooks, rather than learn in Mongolian. Joe Handley of Asian Access describes Inner Mongolia (not to be confused with the independent country of Mongolia to the north) and its relation to China. “Imagine that China was like the United States. Inner Mongolia would be something like the state of Montana. It’s a region within...

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Japan (MNN) — Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned, citing chronic health concerns. Last year, he became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving his current period in office since 2012. This isn’t the first time Mr. Abe has resigned as Japan’s prime minister for health reasons. He left a previous term in 2007 for similar chronic health reasons...

photo by Somchai Kongkamsri from PexelsPhilippines (MNN) — Twin terror attacks struck the southern Philippines this week, killing at least 15 and injuring more than 75. The attacks are believed to have been suicide bombings. Joe Handley of Asian Access explains the situation. “In the southern parts of the Philippines, there are these terrorist groups, influenced by what is now the Islamic State. [They] have been influencing that part of the country, really with a kind of Islamic front, attacking the southern islands.”

China (MNN) — Concerning accounts are pouring from China that have nothing to do with a physical virus. Many local believers are reporting crackdowns on the underground Church’s digital presence in China in the form of arrests and criminal charges. Restrictions on digital Christian content are nothing new; some local believers already change their websites and programming on a near-daily basis. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game for two reasons. First, the online Chinese Church has experienced explosive growth since...

India (MNN) — There’s an adage as old as time: “While the cat’s away, the mice will play.” It implies group laziness or misbehavior when an authority figure is not present. A similar scenario is taking place in India right now. While police focus on COVID-19 restrictions, Christian Post reports, Hindu extremists are launching more attacks on Christians. The first half of 2020 saw 135 cases, but experts say the real number is probably much higher.“ Persecution has become a reality in most of rural and semi-rural India. But...

South Asia (MNN) — So far, 2020 has been a memorable year for all the wrong reasons. Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic create an unpredictable atmosphere for ministry. But Joe Handley of Asian Access says there’s a bright spot amidst the chaos. Asian Access equips national church leaders to multiply churches and make disciples. “We had been planning for several years to do a digital media initiative to equip younger generations, as well as where the persecuted Church lies” in South Asia, Handley explains...

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. 

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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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