Asia’s population is larger than all the other continents put together. However, only a small minority is Christian. Most Asian societies have a deep religiosity and strong moral traditions. The Philippines with a Christian majority have become “ambassadors for Christ” in the world. Christians in Vietnam face political persecution yet vocations to the priesthood and religious life flourish there. Christians in China and North Korea face a more violent persecution by the political authorities. In India, Indonesia and Malaysia, Christians face tensions from either Hindu or Moslem extremists. By and large these Christians are able to witness to Christ’s compassion and justice in relative peace and harmony. However in Pakistan and Bangladesh, tensions are more severe and a peaceful religious co-existence is difficult. In Myanmar, the Rohingka Muslims face persecution at the hands of Buddhist extremists. In all these countries, the Christian communities witnessing to mutual love and respect, promote a society of peace and tolerance.
- Fr Ashley Evans SJ, extracted from Living Prayer