Discovering Jesus through Asian eyes
The Evangelical Alliance has launched a new outreach programme specifically targeted at the UK's growing Asian population.
'Discovering Jesus through Asian eyes' is aimed at presenting the Gospel in a way that addresses many of the issues and questions that Asian people may have about Christianity. It was trialled in churches last year before being officially launched this week in London.
Sanjay Rajo of Naujavan, a Christian organisation dedicated to serving 16-30 year-old Asians, said that until now there has been a real gap in the market for outreach designed for young British Asians.
"In the last forty 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 hunger for something spiritual," he explained.
"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.
"[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."
The eight-week course is based on the Evangelical Alliance's booklet of the same name, and has been received positively so far. Greenford Baptist Church in south-east London piloted the course last year, and Rev Warren McNeil says the response was phenomenal.
"We had non-Asians, a Sikh and a Muslim come to know Jesus. They were baptised this year," he says.
"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."
Described as "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", the course hopes to help propel outreach in a "culturally appropriate way", and will be initially available to churches and Christian organisations in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
The South Asian Forum (SAF) of the Evangelical Alliance is also offering training so as to "get the most out of these new resources and to develop relationships and contacts with the Asian community", says national co-ordinator Manoi Raithatha.
For more information, go to www.discovering-jesus.com