CHRISTIAN immigrants who come to Britain after benefiting from
the work of missionaries have a responsibility to "carry on the
mission" on arrival, the organiser of a service of thanksgiving for
missionaries said last Friday.
The Revd Rana Youab Khan, Assistant Curate of St Anselm's,
Belmont, in London diocese, who was born in Pakistan, organised an
ecumenical service of thanksgiving for the work of missionaries at
St Martin-in-the-Fields, central London, last month. It was
attended by people from the UK, Pakistan, Norway, and the
Mr Khan said that Christians "who are the product and fruit of
missionaries and ministries - like me, for example - have a
responsibility to continue God's mission in this country. . .
"One of the main purposes [of the service] was to tell the wider
community how difficult it was, 200 years ago, to go to other parts
of the world and serve their communities," he said. "By and large,"
he went on, "most people in Pakistan regarded the heritage of
mission in the country in a positive light.
Extremism and growing security concerns had led many people to
leave, or to be advised to leave, Mr Kahn said. Nevertheless, some
had stayed, including a Church of Scotland missionary, Catherine
Nicol, who had spent most of her life in Pakistan. In 2012, she was
awarded the Medal of the Great Leader by the President of
"Growing up in Pakistan," Mr Kahn said, "I used to see
missionaries working in our town and villages and cities, and I was
very much inspired at the highest level of dedication that they
showed towards local people. Before I came to this country, this
was in my mind: to do something to acknowledge their services, and
to do something to help young people to imitate them."