Christianity in South and Central Asia

In a terrible and tragic way the Easter Day bombings of churches in Sri Lanka drew attention to the Christian presence in south Asia. Our first thoughts are surely of shock, compassion and solidarity as we imagine what it must have been like to be met with such horror when you come to worship on Easter morning. It is time to pray for Christian sisters and brothers in these extremely difficult circumstances, as well as for the entire nation of Sri Lanka amidst the crisis.

It is also time to seek to better understand the challenges faced by Christians in this part of the world. This is the task taken up in a book that has just been published by Edinburgh University Press. Christianity in South and Central Asia examines the situation of Christians not only in Sri Lanka but throughout a region where they are invariably a minority and often a vulnerable one.

It took three years of collaborative endeavour by a team of some 50 people, coordinated by an editorial team comprising Daniel Jeyaraj, Todd Johnson and myself. We are delighted by the result –

The doyen of scholars of Indian Christianity, Robert Eric Frykenberg of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has offered the following assessment of what the volume has to offer:

Christianity in South and Central Asia represents public recognition of the unprecedented explosion of World Christianity during the past half century. Ambitious and wide-ranging essays by forty authors from varied backgrounds and disciplines explore the highly complex and multiple forms of local and regional Christianities that now exist within fourteen countries. This truly remarkable collection should appeal to a broad readership concerned with contemporary affairs in our world.”

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