CHRISTIANITY IN ASIA TODAY
ATTEMPTS TO RE-DISCOVER ITS HERITAGE AND IDENTITY
Christianity is basically Asian. During the first centuries itself Christianity spread to many of the Asian countries. It also spread to the West in the first century, but during the first Millennium Asia continued to be the centre of Christianity. Though Christianity is basically Asian, even in many Asian countries it is regarded as a foreign/Western religion, due to the Western paraphernalia associated with it, especially from the colonial period. Understanding the Asian Christian heritage will help Asian Christianity to rediscover its identity and to respond creatively to its socio-cultural and religious context and challenges. It has to be noted that Asian situation is so varied: Whereas Christianity reached in some of the countries in the first centuries, in some other countries it reached only during the colonial period; besides, in most of the Asian countries Christianity continues to be a minority; in some of the Asian countries, Eastern Churches are more prominent; some of the Asian countries are economically developed whereas most of the Asian countries are still developing or poor. Rooted in its legacy, Asian Church should engage in the dialogue with the cultures, religions and the poor. Moreover, Asian Churches should be given more freedom to develop their own theology and to develop ways of living their faith responding to the demands of their context.
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