New Way to Preach Christ amid Hostility
The gospel spreads primarily by word-of-mouth in Laos, especially if you count the mouths of radio broadcasters, but a native ministry has discovered a key role for social media in the advance of God’s kingdom.
In a country where news media are tightly controlled, social media is highly valued as a source of information. Officials in the majority-Buddhist country scorn influential pundits on the Internet as “net idols,” and it is illegal to post anything that could harm the reputation or “national security” of the single-party, Marxist country. But a native ministry says response to the Facebook page it began in June – including that of non-Christians – has been overwhelming.
“Some unbelievers are insulting us for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and saying that Christianity is not suitable because Christians deny ancestors who loved us and also deny culture and traditions,” he said. “They say, mockingly, ‘I never knew that the world was created by God. I believe scientists, not Jesus.’”
“Some unbelievers are saying that Christianity is not suitable because Christians deny ancestors who loved us and also deny culture and traditions,” the ministry director said.
More than 30 percent of the people in Laos practice some form of tribal folk religion, often a blend of animism and Buddhism. The leader and his team are finding ample opportunity to answer their comments and questions from God’s Word, he said.
“Please pray for us, that God will give us wisdom and strength to answer their questions,” he said. “There are more than 55,000 people following our Facebook line. Most of them are young people.”
Indeed, about 60 percent of the Lao population is under 25 years old, and although only 18 percent of Laotians are online, that figure is said to be on the rise in urban areas. The potential for a substantial increase in Christians among the next generation is strong.
The director recently received a call from a 24-year-old former Buddhist who had embraced Christ years ago after hearing him preach on several occasions.
“He had tried many times to call me and was not able to get through,” the ministry leader said. “He is a faithful young man who is always following on Facebook. He thanked me a lot for helping him grow spiritually through the years.”
The group’s native missionaries have seen others who are thankful, such as the 1,643 people across 12 provinces this year who discovered the grace of Christ and put their trust in Him. This kingdom work, which included the planting of 17 house churches, came about through social media ministries, seminars, medical mission trips and the sweat and tears of pastors, evangelists and church members.
Such planting and harvesting is taking place throughout Southeast Asia. Please consider a gift today to advance God’s kingdom in Laos and other countries in the region.