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Asia 2022 Congress opens in Thailand to ‘rethink church and mission’

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About 600 Christian leaders from across Asia gathered in Thailand to “rethink church and mission” in mid-October.

From October 17 to 21, Christians from more than 40 countries attended the Asia Congress 2022 conducted in Bangkok under the theme “Rethinking Church and Mission: God’s Agenda for Today”.

The conference week was jointly organized by Asia Lausanne, Asia Theological Association and Asia Evangelical Alliance.

During the opening ceremony, Rev. David Ro, Asia 2022 Congress President and Lausanne Movement East Asia Regional Director, shared three reasons for the congress. “We will come together to celebrate and mark in the history of the church the work of God in Asia. We recognize the rise of the Asian church over all these years. He also mentioned the transitional shift of global Christianity from the West to the rest as God’s work is scattered in Latin America, Africa and also the Middle East. “The church is moving towards a different type of funic contextualization, which requires us to have different ways of thinking, theologizing and practicing to adapt to the new realities of global Christianity.”

The third reason was that the rapidly growing churches in Asia took the path of missions, started by the Korean church which sent 25,000 missionaries around the world and followed by other countries to reach the unreached.

At the end of his welcome address, Reverend Ro invited each nation to bring three young people who are willing to pay the price to preach the Gospel to unreached groups next year for the Asia Congress 2023 which will take place in Pattaya , in Thailand, from July 25 to 29. The congress will bring together two or three thousand young people between the ages of 18 and 30 for global mission.

During the week, more than 30 speakers contributed to five Bible displays centered on John 15:9-17, seven plenary sessions addressing key issues and 15 seminars. Every day there was also worship and prayers. In particular, a session on the partnership of Asian churches with the global church was conducted simultaneously with seven different continents or regions.

Topics covered discipleship, church-state relations in Asia today, recovery from the supernatural, persecution, the younger generation working with the older, theological education and pastoral training, technology and artificial intelligence, missionary experiences of other countries, how Christians can contribute to nation building in Asian societies and Asian culture.

Participants gathered in round tables where eight to ten people were seated each and they worshiped, prayed and discussed issues together at each table.

During the closing ceremony, David Sung Eun Choi, senior pastor of Global Mission Church, preached a sermon entitled “Three Characteristics of the Gospel” (inclusiveness, exclusivity and being proclaimed in terms of the commandments of God), encouraging listeners to share the powerful gospel with others. Then, seven representatives from different countries announced the liturgical prayer of unity in Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesian, Thai, Nepali and Japanese in turn. The participants received bread and wine together in Holy Communion.