Asia must reckon not only with Communist propagandists and their disdain for religion as the opiate of the masses, but with some Asian voices whose welcome for Western science and industrialization is mixed with antipathy for Christianity on the professed ground that “the Asian religions are best for the Orient.” This supposedly pro-Asian thrust is remarkably blind to the Asian roots of Hebrew-Christian redemptive religion. From the Garden of Eden to Ur of the Chaldees to Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem, the biblical narrative sets God’s special revelation in an Asian setting. The Gospel was first carried to the West, moreover, by Asians. Later, Westerners set missionary sights on the Orient—William Carey hastening to India, Adoniram Judson to Burma, Hudson Taylor to China, and so forth.
Some parts of Asia were early centers of virile Christian missionary activity. In a few places, the line of continuity still reaches back through long centuries, as in India by the Mar Toma Church. In most sectors in Asia, as in North Africa, the early Christian effort capitulated many centuries ago—for one reason or another—to other religions: to the sword of Mohammedanism sharpened 600 years after Christ; to Buddhism which reaches back 600 years before Christ; to Hinduism, Confucianism, and other pagan faiths.
How is it in Asia today with respect to the conflict between Christianity and the non-Christian religions? This sweeping question cannot be answered adequately by a generalized sampling. But some facts are plain.
While Communist leaders probe every international weakness to advance their global designs, with an immediate eye on the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf in the Near East, and on widening the Red frontier wherever possible ...1
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