The Spiritual Need in South Asia
South Asia, with its tapestry of cultures and traditions, offers a challenging yet deeply rewarding landscape for missionary endeavors.In fact, missions in South Asia are often life changing. This region includes nations such as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the British Indian Ocean Territory. Each country presents its own unique opportunities for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. At ABWE, we are dedicated to embracing these opportunities and extending the message of hope throughout South Asia.
The overwhelming majority of people in this region are Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim. And while there are smaller populations of Roman Catholicism and followers of other religions, it is Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam that compete for adherence and position in culture and society. Many people live as unwelcome minorities who are persecuted and marginalized if they do not follow the dominant religion in their area.
Throughout South Asia there is an immense need for missionaries to share the gospel with Hindus as the number of unreached people groups in this part of the 10/40 Window is staggering. The International Mission Board estimates that almost 2,000 of just over 2,200 people groups in South Asia – which represents far more than a billion individuals – are unreached.
According to some estimates, there is on average only one Christian missionary for every 179,000 Hindu people in the world. Which makes missionaries in Asia even more vital to spreading the good word. Estimates show that more than 90% of the world’s Hindu people groups live in South Asia. The Muslim populations in this region are more traditional than in other parts of the world, strictly following orthodox Islam, whether Sunni or Shia. With only one Christian missionary for every 405,500 Muslims in the world and one for every 260,000 Buddhists, we are compelled to endeavor in South Asia until Christ is known among each of these established people groups.
Even with some of the highest numbers of unevangelized individuals and people groups of any region of the world, the church is growing where seeds have been sown. When given the opportunity to hear and experience the truth, many Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims in South Asia are trusting God through opposition, poverty, and other challenges in order to join the growing Spirit-led gospel movement that is transforming lives in this region.
Church Planting in South Asia
ABWE teams in South Asia are committed multiplying leaders, churches, and missions movements. Through education, teaching English as a second language, business as missions, and medical missions, we are connecting with families and sharing spiritual truth. In the countries where we lead church planting in South Asia, we partner with existing national ministries meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, vulnerable, and unevangelized.
A pervasive caste system in some countries, extreme poverty, and susceptibility to natural disasters can make South Asia a challenging place to live. Many governments in the region oppose Christianity, creating barriers against religious freedom, as well as challenges for foreign missionary access and ministry. ABWE’s Live Global ministry focuses on partnering with national workers who are equipped to impact their own communities and cultures through evangelism in their local language and culturally-intelligent church planting in South Asian countries.
Though it can be difficult to enter this limited access region, population-benefiting approaches like business-as-mission, tentmaking, and teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) can offer means to entry and relationship building.
International hub cities like Dubai, Karachi, Delhi, Kathmandu, and Dhaka—create access for cross-cultural workers to invest in ministry with people from unreached people groups from all over the region and across the 10/40 Window. We seek highly entrepreneurial team members who are willing to help initiate new ministries and engage in relational evangelism in these urban frontier settings.
Established ministries throughout South Asia include our partners Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH) and William Carey Academy (WCA), two phenomenal ministry platforms for ABWE teammates to share the gospel. In addition, ABWE has opportunities in a large Christian university (10,000+ students), as well as in a number of other secondary and primary schools.
Our partnership with Memorial Christian Hospital in Bangladesh offers more than medical ministries. Its campus contains outreaches that include an elementary school, two Bible colleges, a health science college, a tribal outreach project, camp ministry, a handicraft business, a literacy program and three Bible translation projects. There are two health clinics and four new church plants within driving distance of our campus. The hospital provides opportunities for sharing the good news and establishing communities of faith. While we have need for more medical team members, we have urgent need for more team members in the many non-medical ministries the hospital has enabled. All of these programs have been useful for sharing truth and discipling believers.
The opportunities for ministry in South Asia are endless and include a wide range of educational platforms, sports outreach, community and humanitarian development, information technology, and software development. coding, and ecotourism. The density of unreached people who are seeking truth is staggering, and the need for missionaries to reach them is just as immense. Your skill sets can be used on the mission field—is God leading you to join a gospel movement and plant churches among the unreached in South Asia?
We'd love to talk with you about how God is leading you.
Serve as a coordinator for developing agricultural programs that help tribal people move from slash-and-burn farming methods to stable hillside gardens and orchards.
Our team is needing an assistant treasurer to work closely with our field team and nationals.
We are seeking a audio-visual program coordinator to help develop a strategic communication plan for our organization's ministry in South Asia.
Help bring the gospel to hundreds of thousands who have never heard, as a Bible translator in South Asia.
There are many opportunities for business people to have an eternal impact in this rapidly developing region.
This couple serves with Live Global with a focus on The Ancient Path Project.…
With the motto "Spread the Word, Heal the Sick", Aklan Baptist Hospital meets the medical and spiritual needs of the people of Caticlan, Aklan on the island of Panay in the Philippines. The hospital was started by ABWE and is now led and run entirely under national Filipino leadership.…
A ministry of Baguio Baptist Church in Baguio City, Philippines, focused on ministry to college and university students in the city. …
The Bangladesh Access fund goes towards projects in South Asia, including outreach through agriculture, computer lessons, non-formal education, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), handicrafts, and trade school. …
The non-formal education (NFE) program meets basic learning needs of disadvantaged children and empowers them to cope with life. “Light of Learning” teaching centers provide much more than reading, writing and arithmetic. Students learn and teach others through action games, songs, recitations, and drama.…