East Asia The economies of East Asia have been growing rapidly over the past twenty years. China has led the way and is on course to become the world’s largest economy, while Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam have become manufacturing powerhouses. This startling economic growth has caused US President Barack Obama to announce a “pivot to Asia” in American foreign policy, by which America will devote more attention to the region. Most international focus is on economics and business, although China’s growing military power has become an issue in the wake of its involvement in a number of territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The region is politically diverse: communist governments of various types in China, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea; large democracies in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines; Burma, which is transitioning to democracy after a long period of military rule; and two kingdoms, Bhutan and Brunei.
RUSSIA KAZAKHSTAN UZBEKISTAN
TURKMENISTAN TAJIK. IRAN
BAHRAIN QATAR UAE SAUDI OMAN ARABIA
HONG KONG MACAU
CAMBODIA SRI LANKA
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
The region is also religiously diverse, though most countries have a single majority religion – Buddhism, Islam or Confucianism. Christianity has been present in the region for centuries (through the efforts of Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries). The map shows that the predominant persecution category is significant, reflecting the fact that while freedom for Christians to worship is generally permitted in the region, there are many restrictions and prohibitions placed on other Christian activities, and some local opposition. China’s decision finally to close its labour camps (where prisoners were “re-educated” for up to four years) has been seen as a significant advance for human rights, though some observers have reported that some of the facilities have been merely rebranded as rehabilitation centres and extra prisons. In the island nations of south east Asia, Christians are facing growing hostility. This is shown in Malaysia by the decision to reserve the word “Allah” (God) for use by Muslims only; in Indonesia by the increasing number of churches being attacked and closed down; and in Brunei by the introduction of Sharia law punishments.
Published on Jul 4, 2014
Published on Jul 4, 2014
The Church in Chains Global Guide lists 60 countries where Christians face persecution because of their faith. The Global Guide divides the...