Unity In Asia

In 1834, at Indonesia’s Lake Toba, two American missionaries—Henry Lyman and Samuel Munson—were slain for daring to venture near what the savage Batak tribes regarded as a holy lake.

In 1957, officials of the Batak Church acted as hosts to 124 delegates from 24 countries at the Eastern Asia Christian Conference, reportedly the largest ever held by Protestants in that part of the world.

The conference was ushered in with a monster open-air rally attended by 100,000 persons. President Sukarno, a Moslem, flew 900 miles from Jakarta to address the meeting. He said Christianity has a vital role to play in helping to bring peace and justice to people everywhere.

He hailed the conference, sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the International Missionary Council and the Indonesian Council of Churches, as “a living reality of the Asian churches. The churches, he said, “following the teachings of Jesus, would contribute to freedom, justice and peace among men.”

Other conference highlights:

► Interim committee, under chairmanship of Bishop E. C. Sobrepena, United Church of Christ, Philippines, named to make plans for similar gatherings in three years.

► A call for “less reliance on techniques and gadgets” in evangelism and more on demonstrations of Christian living sounded by Dr. Chandu Ray of Karachi, Pakistan.

► Unity among churches of Asia termed vital factor in successful evangelism by Dr. D. T. Niles of Ceylon.

► Delegates asked, by Professor II Seung Kay of Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Seoul, to adopt “system” of the Apostle Paul in their evangelistic work—preaching, fellowship, service.

Challenge In India

Two missionary couples soon will be sent to Thailand by the Church of South India.

The Thailand Church is said to be anxious to have fraternal workers from other Asian countries. Church leaders in India feel that Buddhists in Thailand, who emphasize the Indian origin of their religion, might listen with special interest to Christian missionaries from India.

The Church of South India was formed in 1947 through the merger of Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational and Reformed bodies.

Something Happened

Le-van Thai of Vietnam threw stones at the missionaries. He urged people to attend preaching services and start arguments.

When a missionary closed his eyes in prayer, Thai would lead people out of the meeting.

Then something happened. He took a stand for Christ.

Next month the Rev. Le-van Thai, President of the Evangelical Churches of Vietnam, will make his first visit to America as a delegate to the International General Council of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches, scheduled to meet in Charlotte, N. C., May 15–21.

CHRISTIANITY TODAYis a subscriber to Religious News Service, Evangelical Press Service and Washington Religious Report Newsletter.

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