Indian Christians feel 'unwelcome' in CofE

The Church of England is hoping to draw in members of the Asian community, especially those of Indian origin, after receiving reports that they were feeling unwelcome in mainstream churches.

The Church's response came after a recent conference highlighted the feeling of exclusion expressed by Asian Christians who are now reportedly forming small churches where they sing and pray in their native languages.

Chairman of the South Asia Forum, Ram Gidoomal, told a news agency that there are around 200 such churches formed by disappointed Christians across Britain.

ÔÇťAsian Christians want to join mainstream churches but if they are not welcomed they will then form their own fellowship. It is sad and it is a pity that those who are meant to be united by one faith appear then to be divided, that really is a tragedy," he said

According to the South Asia Forum, there are nearly 75,000 Christians of Indian origin in England feeling unwelcom in mainstream churches.

Commenting on it, Krish Kandiah from the UK Evangelical Alliance, said: "Sometimes Asian Christians have felt so unwelcome they have set up language specific or culture specific churches."

He added: "We're very excited about the growth of South Asian churches but we want Christians to know they're part of the mainstream and not part of the ghetto."

A spokesman for the Church of England told The Guardian on Tuesday that it was doing more to engage with ethnic minority worshippers.

"The Church of England is open to all and it is disappointing to hear that any individual feels they have not been made welcome in any church."

The spokesman said: "Anyone with similar concerns should speak to their local clergy, who will be keen to identify constructive ways of better serving their needs.

"As an organisation, we are taking a range of steps to encourage and nurture Christians from all ethnic groups, including launching a 'fresh expression' of church in Birmingham aimed specifically at Asian Christians, and holding conferences to encourage more minority ethnic priests."