Folk Religions

In 2017, Pioneers Canada drew your attention to the remote mountain regions, where some of the hardest to reach people groups live, to show how God is working through our missionaries to bring them to the knowledge that He reigns.  In 2018, we are focusing our attention on what God is doing among peoples who are confused about what they actually believe – those who are steeped in folk religions. 

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions defines “folk religion” as either “religion which occurs in small, local communities which does not adhere to the norms of large systems” or “the appropriation of religious beliefs and practices at a popular level.” 

Since the Fall (Genesis 3), mankind has gone farther and farther away from God.  But because God “has set eternity in the hearts of men (Ecc 3:11),” mankind has been searching.  And since the father of lies wants nothing less than to turn each person away from God Almighty, mankind has created their own myths and religions to find answers.  This is where many of our missionaries find themselves when they land on the fields that God has prepared for them.

We, at Pioneers Canada, want to show you that our God reigns, even in these confusing situations.

One of our teams, working in South East Asia, encountered the stronghold of folk Buddhism when they landed among the Surin people. Here is how they define Folk Buddhism (Please click here to see the video “The Soul of Surin”)

“Folk Buddhism is Buddhism mixed with Hindu beliefs, idolatry of different peoples around them, and animistic practices of the tribal people that lived here for centuries. Folk Buddhism is the stronghold that we are up against, because it’s a melting pot of all beliefs that came together and happily coexist, because they all come from one father, and that’s the father of lies.”

Islam, as it has traveled from the Arabian Peninsula to the rest of the world, has morphed into folk Islam, with much the same description as folk Buddhism. Add the word “folk” in front of any religion, and this is what most people around the world believe.  We, at Pioneers Canada, want to show you that our God reigns, even in these confusing situations. 

Our goals for the coming year are threefold:

1. Engage and prepare new team members to go. Person-by-person our team engages in conversations with men and women who have felt God’s call on their life. The journey to the mission field requires much preparation and we are there to walk with them each step of the way. Given the fact that so many of the Unreached Peoples of the world are steeped in folk religions, we want to develop missionaries who are Biblically grounded, culturally agile, and are growing in their character and intimacy with Jesus Christ.

2. Care for the men, women and families who are already on the field. Living and working in an unfamiliar culture is difficult. Our teams struggle with a new language and different values. They live as strangers in the community. They face family & schooling transitions and unexpected events such sudden forced moves and security issues. Your gifts enable our experienced staff to walk with them. Our prayer is that they thrive as ambassadors for Christ in places where so few dare to go.

3. Determine where God would have us pioneer next. While there are nearly 7,000 people groups that have few Christ followers among them, we cannot reach them all. Our prayer is to identify 8 new groups of unreached people, preparing teams to go and Canadian churches to pray.

On this Giving Tuesday, would you consider becoming a financial partner to proclaim to the world that Our God reigns?  If God is moving you, please click here to give online, or contact us at 1-866-268-8778, or send a cheque to: 51 Byron Ave, Dorchester ON N0L 1G2 (Please make sure to direct the funds to the Our God Reigns campaign). 

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