Of Buddhist Violence (I)

Buddhism Converting to Christianity

Filipino worries about idolatry in America

By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA (ANS) - As Chinese immigrants growing up in the Philippines after World War II, his family saw firsthand the effects of Buddhism and Islamic terror. Now he’s worried about the creeping influence of these “twin towers of evil” in the U.S. and believes he must wake up the church to pray against their spiritual strongholds.

“I am an ex-idolater too, ” says Rev. Mariano Yeo, founder of the Little Saigon Community Outreach. “Our family suffered because of idol worship, ” he says. “So when I see physical idol worship I’m very allergic—I hate it.”

Growing up in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines he witnessed terrifying incidents. “They were killing people in the marketplace, ” Yeo recalls. “My mother said, ‘Don’t go out in the streets because the Muslims will kill you.’” In the aftermath of World War II, some Muslims near his home were indoctrinated to kill ‘infidels’ who would not convert to their faith, according to Yeo.

While his mother received some Christian influence growing up in southern China, the family retained their Buddhist practices when they resettled in the Philippines. “I went with my mother to the Buddhist temple and burned incense with her, ” he says.

He remembers one fateful afternoon when his younger sister was suffering from a serious illness. “She was literally dying. In another hour she was going to be dead, ” Yeo says. “A Filipino doctor was standing there but he couldn’t do anything, ” he says.

“My mother was screaming the name of Buddha at the top of her voice to save my sister.”

A missionary named Silas Wong, with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), happened to be visiting from Singapore. Yeo’s mother was invited to hear him speak at an evangelistic meeting, but didn’t go. Suddenly she remembered he was staying at a house nearby. At his mother’s urging, Yeo’s brother raced to the neighbor’s home and asked Wong if he would come quickly to pray.

“Wong came rushing into the room, ” Yeo recalls. There was pandemonium in the house, and many neighbors by now had rushed over, but no one knew what to do. “I remember very vividly he said, ‘Stop calling the name of Buddha—let’s call the name of Jesus.’”

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