Understanding and engaging with people of different faiths is an integral part of cross-cultural missions and at Asia Gateway, we focus on exposing our students to this study. Last year, Asia Gateway and Wesley Methodist Church, KL jointly conducted a Weekend Seminar on “Engaging with People of Different Faiths” led by Dr Tan Kang San & Ms Lee Loun Ling, with a special sharing by Ms Chitra Jayakaran, a Co-Mission Partner with AsiaCMS. The ultimate objective of this seminar was to equip every disciple of Jesus to better engage with our non-Christian neighbours in Malaysia.
This seminar introduced participants to the major religions in Asia such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism, as well as an analysis of Interfaith Issues in Asian contexts. It began with the various Approaches to the Study of Religions, followed by understanding the different religions through case study, video and group discussion from a Christian perspective. Throughout the seminar, practical implications on gospel and culture; evangelism and inter-religious conversations; and the mission of the local church in a contemporary plural society were explored.
Chitra, who also works with Interserve India, shared from her rich experience as a Christian witness among her devout Hindu family and friends. Despite a busy Saturday for many, about 120 participants came, mostly from Wesley Methodist Church KL, with some from other churches. Their enthusiasm on the subject and active interaction with one another during the seminar were very encouraging.
After the event Mrs. Irene Wong, the Chairperson of Missions Committee of Wesley Methodist KL, commented: "Thank you very much for spending time with us on 11th March to share your vast knowledge on Buddhism and Hinduism and to also arrange for Chitra to join us, adding to the dimension and interest of the seminar. We appreciate all that you have done for us and I must say that it got many participants engaged especially in the case study on Roberto de Nobili. We look forward to further collaboration with Asia Gateway should opportunities arise.