How do you lead someone down Christ’s narrow path when they believe almost every path leads to salvation? That’s a question missionaries in Buddhist-majority countries face every day.
And not only do Buddhists struggle to understand their need for a Savior, but they also face external pressure to remain in the faith of their family. In Buddhist cultures, to turn your back on the religion of your parents is to betray them on the deepest level. Your community will cut you off, taking away your friends, limiting your job opportunities and even kicking you out of your home.
Overcoming these challenges will take a great deal of prayer. So this month, will you pray with us for Buddhists who need Jesus?
1. Pray against persecution of new believers.
Believers in Buddhist-majority countries often pay a high price for following Jesus. One student at a TEAM theological school, Mima*, experienced homelessness at the age of five — all because Mima’s mother, Inzali*, had come to Christ.
When Inzali announced her new faith, her family couldn’t believe it. They kicked her and her children out on the street.
“But I really thank God for my mom because her faith in the Lord is very strong. She never gave up believing in God even though we had many difficulties and problems,” the Mima writes. “It was because of her strong faith … that I also accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life.”
Pray that God will soften the hearts of those who would persecute new believers. Pray that former Buddhists will not be afraid to witness to loved ones.
2. Pray that Buddhists will realize not all faiths are equal.
Because Buddhism teaches that all faiths are equal sources of truth, many Buddhist populations — like the ones in Japan — have combined Buddhism with other religions over the years.
“Japanese see no problem with combining Buddhism with other religions,” said TEAM missionary Russ Epley. “They believe that all religions lead to the same god or higher power.”
This presents an obstacle for missionaries trying to witness to Buddhists.
Pray that God will open eyes and hearts to the one true Way. Pray for wisdom as missionaries refute the idea that all roads lead to heaven.
3. Pray for more workers with experience in reaching Buddhists.
Many Buddhist cultures value honor and respect, especially for those in authority. Navigating these type of relationships as a foreign missionary can be tricky.
Workers who have experience in cross-cultural ministry are especially needed in many of these areas.
According to one TEAM missionary, coming into a Buddhist area as a foreigner without studying cultural norms and expectations can sometimes lead to hurt and suspicion. This prevents deep relationships from forming, which prevents the Gospel message from being shared.
Pray for more workers with training in ministering in Buddhist contexts. Pray also that mission teams will be like-minded and unified.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer! Click here to get a print-out of this month’s Prayer Focus requests and praise reports.
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