ASIAN Christians living in the UK need to explore God’s purpose behind their presence here, and the Church should be harnessing the “unique gifts” they could bring to mission, the creator of a new campaign by CMS (Church Mission Society) Asia has said.
“Prayer and Aware” was launched at Lambeth Palace at the end of June. The campaign is two-fold: to mobilise the Church here to engage in mission to Asia, and to harness for mission here the gifts and insights of those of Asian descent.
“Throughout history, mission from Asia has always been important,” the chairman of CMS Asia, the Revd Rana Khan, said. “The first missionaries were disciples of Jesus Christ from that part of the world. Since then it has continued, but now is the time for Asians, wherever they are needed, to be more actively involved in the life of the Church, so the sleepy Church gets up.”
One aim of the campaign is to encourage Asians to engage in short- or long-term mission to Asia.
But Mr Khan also believes that Asian Christians in Britain should “explore why God has brought them here. Behind immigration there are always different reasons — economic or because they are leaving persecution or political issues — but there is always God’s purpose behind it.”
He believes that they can bring “unique gifts. They can be a bridge between the Church and the wider Asian non-Christian communities because they share language and culture with them. They have huge experience of having the confidence to live and speak the gospel of Jesus Christ in a minority context.”
In a special message for the launch, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “I have been moved, inspired and challenged by the costly commitment of Asian brothers and sisters to witness to the love of God for all in Christ. We stand together recognising our need for the Spirit’s empowering presence in this. This initiative is a gift to the Church.”
“Prayer and Aware” will be taken on a tour to UK churches.