New resource hailed as 'missing piece of the puzzle' to help reach Asians in the UK
A new programme to reach Asians with the Christian message has been launched by the Evangelical Alliance ...
A new programme to reach Asians with the Christian message 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 with rave reviews about its timeliness, uniqueness and potential to reach people from Asian backgrounds in the UK who are searching for spiritual fulfilment.
Sanjay Rajo (right) of Naujavan – an Asian Christian youth organisation serving 16 to 0-year-olds – said the Discover Jesus 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”.
He continued: “In the last 40 years Asians came 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 would probably attract a younger generation … such as university students and young professionals in their 20s and 30s, who are interested in going onto a course a bit like Alpha or Christianity 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 that.”
Rev Warren McNeil of Greenford Baptist Church said they piloted the course in January 2013.
“From that course we had non-Asians, a Sikh and 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 and the Leprosy Mission England and Wales.
Manoj Raithatha, national co-ordinator of South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance, said: “'The Jesus through Asian Eyes booklet seeks to answer 16 commonly-asked questions by Asians about Jesus and the new Discovering Jesus Through Asians 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.”