I complain way more than I should about living in Scotland. I’m working on it. The weather leaves much to be desired, and sometimes so does the customer service. And things are pretty darn expensive. Except for groceries at Tesco. But I was reminded today of how much I have to be thankful for. Besides my tortilla chips for 18 pence a bag.
A friend of mine is a missionary inÂ Kyrgyzstan, and some new laws have been passed there that, if they were passed in Scotland, Â would make church planting a much more difficult task than it already is.
The new law stipulates that …
1. Two hundredÂ adult citizens permanently living in Kyrgyzstan will now be required to register their membership before a religious community can apply for state registration, compared to 10 in the current Law. It says 10 registered religious organisations will be needed to form a ‘religious association’. (So groups of less than 200 won’t be granted permission to assemble).
2.The Minister of Justice can only register a religious organisation/church after local authorities, and then regional authorities, have approved the membership list, and local authorities have the power to decide if a particular religious organisation is needed in their area.
3. [This is the kicker for me.]Â There is now a ban on children being involved in religious organisations, which puts an end to children’s ministries such as summer camps and Sunday Schools, and even means parents cannot take their children to church with them.
Fortunately, an investigation commission visited my friend’s Christian Children’s Home, and they received high reviews. Pray that the favour will continue.
I cannot IMAGINE not being able to bring Asher to church. Or trying to minister to anyone who has a kid — how do you convince someone to join you for church on a Sunday morning? What do they do with their kids?
The Sermon in a Nutshell: Even if popsicle stick crafts and stained glass painting aren’t your idea of a good time – be thankful that those special childhood memories were made possible by your delightful local VBS!