Faith and Culture
Faith and Culture
Of the two Asian regions, socio-economically, South Asia presents both prosperity and abject poverty, embedded in varying traditions. Central Asian states are well-endowed with natural resources and sustain a diverse cultural heritage against a backdrop of Islam. The indigenous shamanic cultures that have sustained myriad indigenous people (often described by terms such as tribals, Adivasis, minorities) for generations across South Asia need to be recognised along with its globalisation. Healing, use of traditional medicines, the position and role of women, caste hierarchy and the relationship with the other are incorporated into South Asian Christianity. ‘Anonymous Christians’ have also contributed to concepts such as ‘insider movements’ to discuss embedded followers of Jesus. In Central Asia, Charismatic Christianity is finding particular resonance. The relative freedom of religious expression has given opportunities for Christians to witness to the gospel. The potential ecumenical relationship with the existing Orthodox Church presents an opportunity for global Christianity. Christianity has received fresh interest in Central Asia since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of the nation-states of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Theological creativity along with prophetic proclamation will be needed to balance these challenges of culture and faith in the region.
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