Asia Pacific Baptist Federation

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Logo of the APBF

The Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) is a regional organization of the Baptist World Alliance, a worldwide fellowship of churches that subscribe to Baptist distinctives. The APBF was formed in the then British colony of Hong Kong in 1973 as the Asian Baptist Federation (ABF).[1] It adopted its current name in 2007 after a resolution was approved during the ABF Congress held in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand from 2 May to 6 May 2007.[2]

Brief history in Asia and the Pacific[edit]

One of the earliest Protestant missionaries to Asia was an English Baptist named William Carey who was one of the founders of the Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen (today known as BMS World Mission) in 1792.[3][4] He started his work in the Dutch controlled Serampore north of Calcutta, India in 1793, initially focussing on Bible translation, preaching, teaching, and the founding of schools. One of the major schools established by this mission is Serampore College, founded in 1818.

Other pioneers include Joshua Marshman and William Ward who together with Carey became known as the Serampore Trio.[5] Of the three, Ward was instrumental in converting American Congregationalist missionary, Adoniram Judson, to Baptist beliefs and baptised both Judson and his wife, Ann Haseltine Judson, in Serampore.[6]

Judson later began Baptist missionary work in Burma on 13 July 1813 upon his arrival in Rangoon.[7] Today most countries in Asia have Baptist believers and churches.

Organization[edit]

The APBF represents almost 60 Baptist denominations (known as conventions or unions) from 20 different countries, encompassing almost 30,000 congregations with more than 5 million baptized believers.[2] The single largest member of the APBF is the Myanmar Baptist Convention which claims more than 1.1 million baptized believers.[2][8]

The principal officers of the APBF are:

Office Name Territory
President Ross Clifford Australia
Vice Presidents Mr. Tapan Chowdhury
Edwin Lam
Dave Kwok
Bangladesh
Singapore
Hong Kong
General Secretary P. Bonny Resu India
Treasurer Surang Kinghirunwatana Thailand

Ministries[edit]

  • Mission & Evangelism
Chaired by Tim Hyunmo Lee of South Korea, the Mission & Evangelism committee organizes consultations and encourages partnership within member bodies.
  • APBF Communications
Chaired by Bijoy A. Sangma of India, ABPF Communications seeks to improve the network of Baptist within Asia by sharing news and information about the work of member bodies. It publishes the quarterly APBF Digest and manages the online presence of the APBF.
  • APB Aid (Relief & Development)
Chaired by Les Fussell of Australia, the Relief & Development committee mobilizes resources to support member bodies in responding to calamities and providing development aid.
  • Theological Education
Chaired by Miyun Chung of South Korea, the Theological Education committee provides the infrastructure for fellowship and partnership between the more than 50 Baptist theological colleges and seminaries in Asia.
  • Asia Baptist Peace Network
Chaired by Alan Marr of Australia, the Asia Baptist Peace Network seeks to be involved in conflict resolution and training Baptists for peace making.
  • Co-opted Members in the APBF Executive Committee
Makoto Kato from Japan and John Kok from Malaysia.
  • Asian Baptist Youth Fellowship
Chaired by Vesekhoyi Tetseo of Japan, the Asia Pacific Baptist Youth Fellowship conducts training programme and conferences at sub-regional and region wide levels including a major youth conference once in four years.
  • Asian Baptist Women’s Union
Chaired by Precey Caronangan of the Philippines, the Aisan Baptist Women's Union conducts training programmes for women leaders and hosts a major regional level conference once in five years.
  • Baptist Women's Union of the South West Pacific
Chaired by Sue Peters of Australia, the Baptist Women's Union of the South West Pacific networks as a resource body for women's ministries across the South West Pacific, encourages and supports women leaders and hosts a major regional conference every five years.
  • Asian Baptist Men's Department
Led by a team of dedicated lay people, the Asian Baptist Men's Department seeks to reach out to Baptist men and involve them in ministry and also improve the quality of their faith so as to impact society.

Members[edit]

As of 1 February 2011, 57 conventions and unions are represented in the APBF:[9][10]

Country Member body Congregations Members
Australia Baptist Union of Australia 916 63,031
Bangladesh Bangladesh Baptist Church Sangha
Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship
Garo Baptist Convention, Bangladesh
337
459
148
15,000
15,100
12,254
Cambodia Cambodia Baptist Union 230 6,995
China, People's Republic of
   Hong Kong
   Macau
 
Baptist Convention of Hong Kong
Macau Baptist Convention
 
90
6
 
72,000
750
China, Republic of
   Taiwan
 
Chinese Baptist Convention
 
197
 
22,767
Fiji Fiji Baptist Convention 14 750
India Arunachal Baptist Church Council
Assam Baptist Convention **
Baptist Church of Mizoram
Baptist Union of North India
Bengal Baptist Union
Bengal Orissa Bihar Baptist Churches Association
Boro Baptist Convention
Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars
Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India
Evangelical Baptist Convention of India
Garo Baptist Convention of India
India Association of General Baptists
India Baptist Convention
Karbi Anglong Baptist Convention **
Karnataka Baptist Sabhegala Samakya
Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church
Lower Assam Baptist Union
Maharashtra Baptist Society
Manipur Baptist Convention **
Nagaland Baptist Church Council **
North Bank Baptist Christian Association
Orissa Baptist Evangelical Crusade
Tripura Baptist Christian Union
 
Bengal Orissa Bihar Baptist Convention *
Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches *

328
422
136
173
85

255

141
2,376
121
80
278
14,031
88
261
145
1,350
1,347
894
3,240
500
 
70
893

26,947
83,501
13,600
16,280
16,500

165,400

31,286
207,524
10,300
5,900
22,092
24,493
18,810
20,700
7,025
182,540
454,349
85,818
430,000
80,000
 
13,990
475,639
Indonesia Convention of Indonesian Baptist Churches (KGBI)
Union of Indonesian Baptist Churches (GGBI)
The Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua
140
206
210
9,726
74,581
45,984
Japan Japan Baptist Conference
Japan Baptist Convention
Japan Baptist Union
Okinawa Baptist Convention
11
329
74
39
476
34,077
4,437
3,178
Korea, Republic of Korea Baptist Convention 2,508 774,259
Malaysia Malaysia Baptist Convention 164 19,143
Myanmar Myanmar Baptist Convention
Self Supporting Kayin Baptist Mission Society
4,522
69
1,142,655
11,543
Nepal Nepal Baptist Church Council 90 12,000
New Zealand Baptist Union of New Zealand 244 23,118
Papua New Guinea Baptist Union of Papua New Guinea 283 80,000
Philippines Baptist Conference of the Philippines
Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches
Convention of Visayas and Mindanao of Southern Baptist Churches
General Baptist Churches of Philippines
Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches
354
900
889
252
540
26,906
250,000
52,166
7,667
41,895
Singapore Singapore Baptist Convention 20 6,939
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Baptist Sangayama 22 5,000
Thailand 12th District of Churches of Christ in Thailand
Thailand Baptist Convention
Thailand Karen Baptist Convention
Thailand Lahu Baptist Convention
54
88
134
104
9,846
9,935
23,772
8,130
Vietnam Baptist Churches in Vietnam
Total 41,781 5,264,784
Footnotes
* Membership under review

** Member churches of the Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India [11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asia Pacific Baptist Federation: About APBF
  2. ^ a b c Baptist World Alliance News: Asian Federation changes name, elects new leadership
  3. ^ William Carey University: Center for Study of the Life and Work of William Carey, D.D. (1761-1834) - Baptist Missionary Society
  4. ^ BMS World Mission: BMS origins and early days
  5. ^ "The Rest of the Serampore Trio". Christian History & Biography (36). October 1992. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  6. ^ "The Life and Work of Adoniram Judson, Missionary To Burma". Theological Studies.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  7. ^ Glimpses of Christian History: 13 July 1813 • A Miserable, Dirty Town for the Judsons
  8. ^ Myanmar Baptist Convention: Affiliation and Partnership
  9. ^ Baptist World Alliance: Member Bodies and Statistics
  10. ^ Asia Pacific Baptist Federation: APBF Member Bodies
  11. ^ Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India: Members

External links[edit]