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Well attended mission conference opens in Yangon, Myanmar 

Yangon: More than 500 participants from all over the world gathered this morning for the opening of the Asia Mission Conference (AMC) in Yangon, Myanmar.

The conference, the fourth of its kind since the founding of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in 1957, marks an important opportunity to bring together churches, faith-based organizations and partners to reflect upon mission in an Asian context. The conference is organized by CCA and hosted by the the Myanmar Council of Churches and Myanmar Baptist Convention, both CCA members.

”The religious contexts have changed and we have witnessed many things since our last mission conference almost a quarter of a century ago. We are facing a number of pertinent challenges and questions, which this conference will focus on and hopefully help us find answers to”, said CCA general secretary Dr Mathews George Chunakara in his opening speech.

He underlined the fact that no one has a monopoly on Gods mission.

”There are competitive forces out there which may undermine the credibility of Christian mission. The Christian Conference of Asia, national councils of churches and members churches throughout Asia must therefore remain strongly rooted in the midst of missions and at the same time continuously reflect on the very nature of Christian mission”, Chunakara explained.

That is also reflected in the theme of the AMC 2017 ”Journeying together: Prophetic witness to the truth and light in Asia”, which resonates with the contemporary situation, not only in Asia, but in the entire world.

CCA moderator Archbishop Willem T.P. Simarmata described the AMC as ”a landmark in the history of our churches”. He pointed out that Christians are a minority in all CCA countries, except the Philippines, East Timor, Australia and New Zealand. Simarmata stressed the importance of coming together to discuss mission more in-depth and articulate how to spread the Gospel.

”That must be done not only inside the buildings of the churches, but by going out among people, of different cultures and backgrounds, exactly in line with what the spirit of the Reformation gives us”, he said.

The coming days will be filled with thematic presentations, group discussions and opportunities to socialize and share experience and knowledge around mission.

”The AMC is a platform for genuine discussions on, and a profound analysis of, the theological and missiological issues to be addressed in today’s Asian context”, Chunakara continued.

The sheer number of participants has by far exceeded his expectations and shows that discussing mission is important.

”My sincere hope is that the participants bring concrete ideas to the table during the coming days, find opportunities to share experience and bring back home renewed inspiration to move on as prophetic witnesses in an Asian context”, he concluded.

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