Alert: Hindu Bhutanese Refugees Are Targets for ConversionDecember 29th, 2009 Source: www.baptiststandard.com
HOUSTON, TX, USA, December 29, 2009: [HPI note: After a long series of tribulations, including expulsion from their home country and long nineteen years in provisory refugee camps as citizens of nowhere, Hindus originally from Bhutan are coming to Armerica (read the article about it on Hinduism Today here). But, unfamiliar with the new country and western ways, insecure in their new life and throughly vulnerable to being influenced, they make for easy targets for conversion to proselytizing faiths. while Hinduism Today does not take an editorial stand against conversions, they must follow ethical standards, something too seldom ignored. The article below is reprinted from the Baptist Standard Newsjournal.]
Many in the world never have heard the story of Jesus’ birth and his offering of hope. That was true for a group of 250 Bhutanese refugees living in Houston–until recently.
Bhadra Rai, an emerging Bhutanese Christian leader in Houston, along with the Baptist General Convention of Texas intercultural ministries office, Houston Baptist University and several churches in the area, planned an assembly of cultural performances and presentations to share the Christmas story with more than 250 Bhutanese who arrived in Texas this year.
“Several months ago, Bhadra had the vision to present Christmas to his community,” said Mark Heavener, a Texas Baptist intercultural ministries strategist. “Bhutanese are from a Hindu background, and many have never heard of Christ or Christmas.”
“Our God reveals himself to people in their heart, and this provided space and opportunity to celebrate in their heart language,” Heavener said. “With the introduction of Christ being in their Nepali heart language, it gets deeper into their hearts than if it were presented from an American perspective.”
The Christmas party served as a way to reach out to the Bhutanese–letting them know people want to help them succeed in their new life in Texas and show them God’s love.
A woman from Kingsland Baptist Church came to prayer-walk the auditorium before the event, praying that God would prepare the hearts of the Bhutanese to hear the story of truth and that no distractions would take away from the focus of the message of Christ that night.