Insights from Bangladesh and Japan

Insights from Bangladesh and Japan

On 10 September 2020, 63 people logged on to participate in USPG’s fourth Partners in Global Mission Webinar, ‘Insights from Bangladesh and Japan’.

The webinar was chaired by the Reverend Canon Richard Bartlett, USPG’s Director of Mission Engagement. The speakers were: the Right Reverend Shourabh Pholia, Deputy Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh and Bishop of the Diocese of Barisal, Suchitra Behera from the Diocese of Barisal, the Right Reverend Augustine Naoaki Kobayashi, Bishop of Kobe, Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church of Japan) and Mako Kobayashi of the Diocese of Kobe.

Bishop Kobayashi spoke about the NSKK’s ‘Let's Walk Together’ project that was started to assist people who had lost their homes during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011. ‘We opened free cafes and created opportunities for people to talk, and we listened to them,’ the Bishop said. ‘We stood in solidarity with people suffering from radioactive contamination. In May last year, we held the international symposium on a world free of nuclear power plants. We expressed our position that the Anglican Church of Japan does neither support nor accept the need for nuclear power facilities.’
Mako Kobayashi gave an overview of the current situation with Covid-19 in Japan and of the NSKK’s relationships with USPG and with churches in other Asian countries. ’Our motivation comes from the Bible, which tells us “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”,’ she said.
Suchitra Behera and the Bishop Pholia gave an account of the role the Church of Bangladesh is playing in combatting Covid-19 via its health programmes and mission hospitals.
‘Being the body of Christ, the Church of Bangladesh gave full attention to the immediate needs of the people,’ the Bishop Pholia said. ‘Many have lost their jobs or have not been paid their salaries. Many have had to migrate from cities to rural areas.
‘May our children and youth have patience to endure this time of restriction and continue their education in the safest way. May our women and men understand their God given talents and use them for the love of Christ.’
‘It was deeply moving to hear from church leaders in Bangladesh and Japan sharing their very different contexts for mission,’ said Rachel Parry, USPG’s Director of Global Relations. ‘Yet again, we experience the power of encountering each other despite our geographic distances and give thanks for this blessing of technology in the current climate.’


The PowerPoint presentations used by the speakers are available to download here: