Friday, September 26, 2008
21st century Asia is for christianity
Lee Myung Bak
Do you realise that the current South Korean President is a Christian? and South Korea which was previously predominant Buddhist country is now a Christian majority country of 10 million buddhist and 13 million christian?
Or the new Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is a Roman Catholic and will be Japan's first christian PM in a shinto buddhist country?
or the growing number of Chinese Christians in China mostly in Hong Kong and Macau?
well these are just some figures that most people aren't aware of.
I once heard a pastor said that the spread of Christianity is a vicious cycle that starts from the middle East in Israel to Europe, north and south America and now it has arrived in Asia...
An interesting thing that occur is that as Christianity spread and gaining its presence in a particular region, so is the power and might of the country. Like Italy, France, Britain, US and now Japan, South Korea and China.
If that is the case everyone should capitalise on the spread of christianity in this regions and fully optimise it for their own benefit. The spread of christianity is also growing in South East Asia with the widely publicised opening of mega churches in Jakarta the capital of Indonesia. Most interestingly, mostly are chinese Indonesian who suffered years of genocide in the late 1990s when religious conflict occur during the economic recession in 1997. Many chinese owned business were raided and many chinese were killed during those dark times.
Well, this is just the beginning sign of the spread of the power of christianity in Asian region. We will anticipate the strengthening of China as christian population there increases until a point that it will take over US as the world power, just like how US take over the role of Britain as a christian power in the 1900s.
so is in Malaysia. The heroin of ISA or the feisty executive councilor of Selangor, MP Teresa Kok who was detained unlawfully also exerts her Roman catholic influence as she relented how she prayed to Jesus and drove inspiration out of it. She is an example of growing christian influence in the country as the leading cabinet member of the industrious and most develop state of selangor in Malaysia.
Now all eyes will be on these christian leaders who will be under the tightest lens of camera as how they would react and make their stand and judgment. Would they fall or rise up to the challenge? The South Korean president already made a public apology to the Buddhist citizen for the alleged bias of the government department towards Buddhist citizen. this is a good step as to ease the tension.He must be a leader for all and not just Christians. He should show a good example of how Christian values should be held by treating every one equally or even treat the Buddhist citizen better as demanded by Christ to treat your friends like your friends and to treat your enemy like how you would treat yourself. thus, he need to show how much more he care for the Buddhist citizen.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia and Indonesia, the spread of the Christian faith is having a tough time to break thorough the Islam grip of power. Already some alarms are ringing in Indonesia the world most populous Muslim country. The opening of the mega churches in Indonesia is not done overnight as the pastor of the church said that they had applied for it for the past 16 years and finally got approval as it is located in the heart of the city where most Christian neighbourhood is. However, with the opening of these mega churches, the Muslims are afraid of the growing power of Christianity in Indonesia as the members of the church are rich corporate bosses who donated millions of US Dollars to build the church. Plus in a tough economy, the helping hand by the church to the people may soften their hearts and maybe lead to a conversion to Christianity. However, the Indonesian authority does not want to give any comment in this matter as they were being pressured by foreign power to have a free and democratic country by practicing freedom of religion for the people to decide their own religion. But the government might have to heightened its stance as the general election is drawing closer as the popularity of President Susilo had drop over the years as the poor citizen had to fend off the increase in fuel, food and the current collapse of financial institutions in US. People are worried about their future.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the spread of Christianity is also facing a gridlock with the undemocratic statute that Malay=Muslim. thus, the limit is no Malay can be Christian or they will have to face the chasm and alienation of their Muslim family members. So the limit is only for Chinese and Indian origin. However, the gridlock is growing especially among the the non Malays who saw the body of their loved ones were being taken away by JAIS or other Islamic governing bodies who claim that the decease had converted to Islam and he or she will be buried in an Islamic manner and their property will be confisticated for the use of Islamic bodies.
This raised an issue as the spread of Islamophobia among the non malays are getting under tense situation as people try to avoid being associated with Islam in order not to end up the same way. The national front government is facing total lost of support of non malays whom all swing to the opposition side which fights for an equal treatment for all as Malaysian and not because of race and religion. This momentum is also gaining on the upper side of the malay populace who felt that affirmative policies will only benefit the cronies of the government. With this get attention across spectrum, people are actually waiting to count the days when the national front government will actually be dethrone for the first time in history.
A secular country like Turkey should be the target of the leaders and not an Islamic state. A secular democratic government which is transparent and fair to all will be good environment for the spread of christianity as malays are off the limit for spreading the word of God. UMNO should be congratulated for using a rather self illusion rule that the religion of Islam belongs to Malay. Such misconception is wrong as Malays can also be of other religion such as Hinduism in Bali, and Buddhism in Cambodia and Myanmar. By covering the eye of the people that Malay can only be Muslim is a tough fight for spread of Christianity in the country. For example the conversion of Lina Joy a malay who embrace Christianity was the headline for quite sometime as the current law doesn't allow one to convert to another religion. The scandal of the NRD department which labels quite a number of non muslim as muslim in their MyCard(ID card) also spark a fear among the non malays.
In singapore, the spread of christianity is already strong as the chinese and Indian as well as Malay citizen are more ready to accept Christianity as a way of life. More China nationals working in Singapore are also accepting this and may spread it faster to their family in China.
In India, the spread of Christianity spark off a massive genocide by the hindu radical who killed Christians. They argued that the missionaries targeted the lower cast group who are always being depressed and bullied by the cast system in India. Christianity which fights for equality for all seems to be the best way for them to get out of the illusive game ahead of the other cast. However, Christianity which is popular among those Chinese and Indian born outside of their origin country is sending a sign of change happening globally.
One thing for sure it the spread of Christianity is happening whether one admits it or not. We'll be anticipating a shift of world power as Christianity spread across Asia. At 21st Century we are looking at a time of Christian victory in Asia. Whats more, Gentile across the world will be praying that this will occur in a peaceful manner. But we can't stop those radical from killing and threatening the existence of Christianity. What we can do is pray to receive another Paul in Saul.
Maybe perhaps 22nd century will be Africa's turn as a center of power. to take over Asia