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South Asian Christians in Britain: Examining Identity, Belief and Theology

Project: Research


Recent surveys regarding the place of religion in British society have registered the significant decline in Christianity. The mainline churches are struggling to keep their congregations functioning with church attendance at a historic low point. With this gloomy forecast for the future of Christianity in Britain, the Black and Asian majority churches are growing exponentially. These ethnic minority lead churches are not only growing among Black and Asian communities but also attracting erstwhile mainline churchgoers. The impact of Afro-Caribbean churches upon British Christianity is well documented and researched. For example, a few studies have focused on the ‘reverse mission’ of Christian immigrants who have come to Britain from the ‘global south’ with the intent of missionising the post-Christian British society. However, there is hardly any serious study of Asian Christian diaspora communities. Asian diaspora is the main focus of research, when it comes to studying Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism, but not so much about Christianity. This poses a serious question, are the Asian Christians in Britain an invisible diaspora? There is an explicit gap in the academic research about Asian Christian Diaspora in Britain. However a recent social attitudes survey conducted in Britain suggests that Asian Christian diaspora is the fastest growing Christian group in Britain. Given this context, firstly, this research will explore the aspects of mission within the diaspora communities that is proving to be vital for their growth. Secondly consider their mission approach to the other Christian communities, and thirdly reflect upon the ecumenical networks being established around social concerns both within the Christian communities and beyond. Within the widespread popular assumptions that the Asian diaspora in the UK is predominantly non-Christian and that ethnic minority Christians habitually become part of mainstream Christian denominations, this research will examine those perceptions and misconceptions with regards to diaspora and migrant communities. While doing such analysis, we will be able to discuss cutting edge issues in mission and evangelism with special reference to identity, culture, and belief among Asian Christian diaspora communities, as well explore the wider issue of meaning and relevance of Christian discipleship within an ever-increasing secular non-religious society.
Effective start/end date3/06/13 → …


Research outputs