Untitled Document

 VP(Weerasooriya)

 Weerasooriya

 2009-08-12 오후 2:18:00  3544
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AMCF   VPs REPORT FOR SOUTHASIA

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1. South Asia comprises the countries of  Afghanistan,Bangladesh,Bhutan,India,Maldives

Nepal,Pakistan and Sri Lanka.. It is a highly populated region which is dominated by

religions other than Christianity. . Pakistan,Maldives Bangladesh and Afghanistan are

Islamic countries while Nepal and India  are said to be secular but predominantly Hindhu while
Sri Lanka and Bhutan have Buddhism as the major religion. In all these countries the percentage of Christians is miniscular (less than 3%) except in Sri Lanka where it is 7%..The South Asian region
comprises 1/5 the the world population

 

This phenomena is naturally reflected in the Number of Christians in the armed forces of all countries in the region. To varying degrees there is  subtle persecution in recruitment policies where
Christians are discouraged in joining the Defence Forces.Having enlisted  they face numerous
challenges and obstacles in gaining promotions, selection for career oriented courses.which result
in officers seeking early retirement etc. For eg in the 60 years of the existence of the Pakistan
Army ,there is only one officer who has reached the rank of Major General. In  Nepal there are no
Christians among the officer cadre. In Bangladesh Christians are discouraged in joining the armed
forces. In India and Sri Lanka there are several officers who have reached the General rank but not without having faced a degree of persecution at some time in their careers.

 

   3.  The entire region except for Nepal and Afghanistan have been under centuries of

   Colonial rule and this too has left indelible scars in the minds of the people that             

   Christianity is a Western religion and  is not in keeping with the culture of the region..

   This is the slogan raised by Hindhu, Muslim and  Buddhist extremists when  d emonstrating   against      Christian evangelism.  As you are aware  in the pa st decade physical attacks have been taking
place in  the entire region against Christians resulting in arson ,destruction of places of worship     and at times death and displacement

 

 

   BACKGROUND

 

4       It is in this background that MCFs are organized and function. The term MCF is not used in all
instances eg, in India it is termed CNI (Cornelius Network of India).

5       In all countries except Sri Lanka the armed forces function under one banner ie MCF.

In Sri Lanka the MCF is a group of  serving and retired officers comprising Army, Navy and
Airforce officers  which is the central body that supports the functioning of the Army, and Airforce
Christian Fellowships which comprise only serving officers and other ranks..The Sri Lanka  Navy
does not have their own fellowship as yet but officers of the Navy are members of  the MCF

 

6. Faith/ church mix   The MCFs are all non denominational. Roman Catholicism is predominant in the region and so it is among servicemen but due to the pressures experienced by Christians as
whole the MCFs function smoothly,  true to the motto of the AMCF ‘All one in Christ” !!

 

7. Weakness of MCFs  In general the MCF s have not been able to effectively reach the serving
servicemen for the simple reason that they are dominated by retired  personnel and also due to
the reasons explained in the introduction paragraph. At the moment what happens(except in
Sri Lanka) is that the MCFs function as a prayer support base for the serving servicemen for
counseling and guidance when the need arises. .In Sri Lanka the constitution of the MCF has
provision for representatives from the three forces and the Police Fellowships in the Executive
committee as honorary members thereby establishing a link to the respective service.

 

8  Opportunities –God’s open doors  In Sri Lanka the ongoing conflict has provided many
opportunities for the Christian soldier to help and assist his non Christian comrade in arms in
times of battle fatigue and stress in the field. Many are the testimonies of non Christian
commanders seeking prayer support from Christian officers during operations.

 

 

9   The after math of the TSUNAMI in 2004 provided opportunities for the Sri Lanka MCF supported by ACCTS  to be of immense help to the affected servicemen and their families in counseling as
well as providing material benefits

 

10 Threats and risks.  Please see annex on Sri Lanka MCF report re the Anti Conversion bill. In
Pakistan the Blasphemy law exists which is reprehensible and used to victimize innocent people. MCFs need to function with wisdom as the enemy could misconstrue anything to their advantage

 

 

11. Conferences The following conference and seminars were held in the region

                           a. The first South Asian Regional Conference in Colombo in Oct 2006

                           b. National conference of CNI in Bangalore in 2007

                           c.National Conference of BMCF in Dhaka  in 2007

                           d National Conference of NMCF in Katmandu in 2008

                           e.Tri service Revival meeting in Colombo   in 2008

 

12. Visits by AMCF/ACCTS/MSO  Regular visits have taken place by ACCTS MMI and MSO
to countries of the region. Basically ACCTS MMI have been supporting and encouraging India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka while the MSO has actively supported the work in
Nepal. More details are available in the attachments (country reports)

 

 

 

13.Funding   The support provided by the ACCTS MMI/MSO and AMCF to conduct various
programs and particularly international travel and sponsorship is greatly appreciated and we pray
for the Lord’s blessing on those who sacrificially give to meet the needs of our region. The reason
why continued support is requested in this area even in the future is because of the low incomes
earned (in US$ terms) by service personnel in the region. For eg the cost of an air ticket to UK from Sri Lanka will be the equivalent of several months salary of a senior officer!!

 

 

 

WAY AHEAD

 

14. Decentralization   In large countries ,such as Bangladesh,India and Pakistan ,establish
independent MCFs at a regional level to overcome the problem of travel  and communication
difficulties. The prayer bases so established will be of easier access to regional forces

 

15. Revival/Interaction seminars  Conduct regular revival meetings and interaction programs within the countries with the assistance of the ACCTS MMI/MSO.

 

16. Establish links with the Regular Forces This could be done by way of adopting the
Philippines MCF model of introducing teaching of Military Ethics by the respective MCFs

 

17. More participation in Regional Conferences /Interactions/Training programs.

This will provide exposure, incentive and encouragement to potential leaders.

 

18. Establishing new MCFs  Seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in establishing MCFs in
Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives

 

 

 

 

 

Detailed reports from Bangladesh,Nepal,Pakistan and Sri Lanka are attached . The report from
India has not been received upto the time of compiling this report

 

Your sincerely in Christ

 

Srilal Weerasooriya

General (retd)

VP South Asia

 

 

 
     

 


24 1 3

1  VP(Ogilvie)     Ogilvie 2009-08-12 3402
 VP(Weerasooriya)     Weerasooriya 2009-08-12 3545
3  - W(Bangladesh)     Admin 2009-08-12 3593
4  - W(India)     Admin 2009-08-12 3682
5  VP(Neil)     Neil 2009-08-12 3690
6  VP(Lei)     Lei 2009-08-12 3704
7  VP(Maldonado)     Maldonado 2009-08-12 3726
8  - Lei('Stan')     Admin 2009-08-12 3821
9  - Neil(1)     Admin 2009-08-12 3829
10  VP(Louwrens)     Louwrens 2009-08-12 3830
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