A new programme to reach Asians with the Christian gospel has been launched by the Evangelical Alliance.
Attended by close to 200 Christian leaders from across the UK, the Discovering Jesus through Asian eyes course was launched at the Regent Hall, Salvation Army in central London on 14 May immediately received rave reviews about its timeliness, uniqueness and potential to reach people from Asian backgrounds in the UK who are searching for spiritual fulfilment.
Sanjao Rajo of Naujavan – an Asian Christian youth organisation serving 16-30 year olds – said the course “has come at absolutely the right time and is the missing piece of the puzzle which helps to mobilise a generation to reach out to their Asian friends”.
“In the last 40 years Asians came to the UK from overseas but now we are seeing more young people, who are born here, confused about their identity and hungry for something spiritual. This course will attract a younger generation… such as university students and young professionals in their 20s and 30s, who are interested in going on a course a bit like Alpha or Christianity Explored, but with an Asian edge. It ticks that box and allows us to engage in a unique Asian British way, there is nothing else out there like it.”
Rev Warren McNeil of Greenford Baptist Course said they piloted the course in January 2013: “From that course we had non-Asians, a Sikh and a Muslim, come to know Jesus. They were baptised this year. At that point it made us think differently about how to reach Asians. Even our style of worship is done differently, in a more Asian style so we can reach the predominantly Asian population in our area” he said.
The eight-week course is based on the second edition of the Alliance-produced booklet, Jesus through Asian eyes, and is published by The Good Book Company. It also has a dedicated website (www.discovering-jesus.com). The course is the first of its kind exploring key questions that people from the South Asian and East Asian diaspora have about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.
These resources will help churches to answer questions that Asians of other faiths have about Jesus in a culturally appropriate way. The new booklet and course will initially be available to churches and Christian organisations in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
The new course is supported by more than 30 partners including Christianity Explored, the London Baptist Association, the Church of England (Diocese of London), Interserve, South Asian Concern, UCCF, the Assemblies of God, Chinese Church in London, Redeemed Christian Church of God, the Leprosy Mission England and Wales and London City Mission.
Manoj Raithatha, national co-ordinator of South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance, said: “‘The Jesus through Asian Eyes booklet seeks to answer 16 questions commonly asked by Asians about Jesus. The new Discovering Jesus through Asians eyes course provides the opportunity for these topics to be discussed in a relaxed and friendly setting. We are providing training from experienced practitioners to help churches and organisations get the most out of these new resources and to develop their relationships and contacts with the Asian community.”
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we’re not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.
South Asian Forum (SAF)
The Evangelical Alliance set up the South Asian Forum (SAF) in October 2010 bringing together a number of people with a passion to reach Asians for Christ.SAF has the unique ability to unite, support and equip South Asian Christians for mission. SAF works to represent the issues and concerns of the South Asian Christians to the Government, media and the wider Church.
This Alliance initiative provides a forum for the estimated 75,000 South Asian Christians in the UK representing the eight countries of South Asia; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It provides a vehicle through which to respond quickly and with unity to issues such as the persecution of Christians in Pakistan and the on-going fragility of the country, or the intense suffering caused by divisions in Sri Lanka.
The Good Book Company
The Good Book Company is a leading International publisher of Bible-centred resources to help Christians grow in their faith, and reach out to others. It is based in Epsom, UK and has offices in Australia and near Washington DC, USA. It publishes the Christianity Explored resources, and a wide range of daily Bible reading, Bible study and evangelistic material for churches and individuals.
Discovering Jesus through Asian Eyes partners
- London Baptist Association
- The Baptist Union of Great Britain
- Church of England (London Diocese)
- Christianity Explored
- Assemblies of God
- Hope Together
- Redeemed Christian Church of God
- Share Jesus International
- London City Mission
- Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon
- World Venture
- Lighthouse International Christian Church
- All Nations Church (Wolverhampton)
- South Asian Concern
- Global Connections
- Leprosy Mission England and Wales
- Word of Life
- British Pakistan Christian Association
- New Life Suwarta Sanghat
- Greenford Baptist Church
- Stanmore Baptist Church
- New Life Masih Ghar
- World Harvest
- Haddon Hall Church
- Scottish Asian Fellowship
- Gujarati Christian Fellowship
- Bethany Faith Ministries
- Chinese Church in London
- Christian Vision for Men