The Middle East and South & Central Asia regions house some of the most gospel-poor peoples in the world. In the Middle East, the dominance of the Muslim faith is evident, including more than 95% of the population in some countries. While South & Central Asia comprises a diverse mix of faiths, Hinduism prevails in Nepal, with over 80% adherence.
The tiny Christian minorities across these regions are under great pressure and many have fled their homes to escape persecution. They join millions of asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries, who have been displaced by war, terrorism, political instability, natural disasters and social upheaval. In a region torn by instability, the needs of local people are immense. But these very needs have opened windows of opportunity for the light of the gospel to shine through. While this seems like an impenetrable environment, God is using these uncertain times and the displacement of people to advance his kingdom.
There are abundant opportunities to minister to refugees, from demonstrating simple hospitality to sharing the gospel through stories—people are open to hearing about the eternal hope offered in God’s word. CMS missionaries serving in church-based ministry and theological education are helping equip the fragile local Church to reach out to these refugees—and to others in their community—by training and discipling local Christians.
In an area with immense social needs, there are many other ways to demonstrate Christ’s love. In poverty-stricken communities, CMS workers are strategically serving in health and social services, education and engineering to help meet people’s emotional and physical needs, and build relationships that can lead to opportunities for gospel conversations.
In a region where overt evangelism is restricted, God is creating opportunities for his word to bring renewal and hope to the broken.
- Population: 2.28 billion
- Peoples: 4,634
- Area: 16.31 million km2
- Countries: 30