WI THOU T A DE TAILED agenda or
plenary speakers, the Lausanne
Movement invited 90 global mission
leaders to Wittenberg, Germany in
June. Lausanne is an international
network focused on evangelism.
The gathering marked the 500th
anniversary of the Protestant
Reformation and was held in the city
most associated with it. Participants
were invited simply to pray, then
discuss and brainstorm ideas for a
renewed worldwide mission effort.
Christians need “innovative ways
to work together” to accelerate the
spread of the gospel, said David Bennett
of Lausanne, especially as population
growth among Hindus, Muslims and
Buddhists outpaces church growth.
The three days of conversation
led to a call to the global Church to
first pray, then for mission efforts to
partner more closely.
“There isn’t a bigger barrier to global
mission than the attitude of ‘I don’t
need you,’ ” said Michael Oh, CEO of
Lausanne. “What could happen if these
networks partnered deliberately, with a
laser-sharp focus for global mission?”
In July Lausanne announced several
months of talks have resulted in a
new partnership to develop prayer
resources with Operation World, the
leading producer of international
prayer guides. – W W W.LAUSANNE.ORG
DROUGHT FORCING MORE
INTO PROSTI TUTION
IN AN EFFOR T to find food during the
ongoing drought across Sub-Saharan
Africa, some families are forcing their
girls into prostitution. The International
Rescue Committee (IRC) reported in July
that some as young as 12 are selling
themselves for as little as 60 cents in a
particularly hard-hit region.
Mercy Lwambe, an IRC co-ordinator
for Kenya, interviewed 88 girls involved
in transactional sex in the northern
city of Lodwar. She found all were from
remote villages, driven to prostitution
due to the drought.
“They said, ‘Our families have lost
all their livestock and don’t have any
money,’ so they’re sending them away
or they’re being married off,” said
Lwambe. – W W W. THEGUARDIAN.COM
BLASPHEMY CASES RISING
INDONESIA’S MOST PROMINEN T
Christian politician, the governor of
Jakarta, lost his post in April after
being charged with blasphemy.
Observers worry the country’s success
at combining an Islamic dominance
and democracy is threatened.
The defenders of Basuki Tjahaja
Purnama (popularly known as Ahok)
say the case is ridiculous and that
he merely interpreted a verse of the
Qur’an to mean Islamic law allows non-Muslims to rule over Muslims.
Ahok’s case was surrounded by
months of protests organized by
four Islamist groups calling for his
conviction. Racial enmity was also
evident in the protests (Ahok is
ethnically Chinese). He was sentenced
in May to two years in prison, but has
said he will appeal.
The Indonesian government officially
disbanded one of the four groups (Hizbut
Tahrir Indonesia) in July, but critics say
it was merely the easiest target.
Blasphemy laws have been part of
the country’s legal system since 1965,
but were rarely applied in the 20th
century. However in the last decade or
two, intolerance of minority religions
(including atheists and Ahmadiyya
Muslims) has risen. More than a hundred
people have been convicted since 2005.
Muslim politicians are increasingly
pushing for restrictive laws – against
alcohol, for example. However the
strength of popular support for such
measures is unclear.
The Economist reports similar
religious/racial tensions in West
Kalimantan, a province where a
Christian governor is set to retire.
– WWW.ECONOMIST.COM, WWW.ABC.NET.
AU AND W W W.LOW YINSTI TU TE.ORG
C. DAVID DONALDSON
“In a media
of half-truths and
else. [But] I
want to live
in a society
but also be
W W W. WORLDEA.ORG
In rural Bangladesh many girls are denied an education. Less than 50 per cent of girls
attend high school. But the local church and Canadian sponsors are ensuring girls like
Rupali get the chance. www.Compassion.ca
C. David Donaldson of Guelph, Ont., is a writer
and teacher who leads short-term mission
groups to Kenya twice a year. For more of these
columns, see www.Faith Today.ca/GlobalVillage.