It is not everyday that you get positive religious news from the BBC. But having found myself stuck in Istanbul for an extra day (the result of the snow-enforced closure of Heathrow yesterday), I was watching BBC World with my lovely hosts, Robin & Lorna. And suddenly, on came a televised report by Robert Pigott from Ulan Baator about the re-emergence of religion on post-communist Mongolia. The indigenous traditional form of Buddhism has inevitably been reinvigorated. But what was most surprising was seeing evidence of the rapid growth of Christianity. And one clear point of his report is that it is the practical support and development that Christian workers bring to the country that has given the gospel a platform. We couldn’t believe our eyes!
On the televised report, he showed footage from a church and then from Union Bible college – somewhere that we’ve known a number of people who have worked there. I’ve not been able to find the video online but perhaps it will turn up at some point. But you can check out the radio report…
And on that report for From Our Own Correspondent, he focused on the work of MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) as well. MAF is a fantastic outfit, and we had good friends with them when we were in Uganda. How refreshing to hear something postive about the impact of global mission instead of the usual PC rants.
The tone reminded me somewhat of the now famous Matthew Parris article at Christmas about gospel work in Africa and how beneficial it was. What both Pigott and Parris seem to have overlooked is actually how beneficial it can be for the west again. But you’d never get the BBC saying that now, would you!?