Asian Migrant Churches in Europe

Author: Sung Hoon Kim, Asian Diaspora Initiative, Wycliffe International.


There are 8.2 million Asian Diaspora in Europe, making up 27% of total migrants in Europe.
• 111,000 Koreans, 116,000 Japanese, 1.7 million Chinese, 3.2 million South Asian, 3 million Turkish in Europe
• Among Korean immigrants, about 53,000 are in Germany, 45,000 in the UK and 13,000 in France
• About 1 million Chinese students and 123,000 Japanese students are in Europe.
The workshop focuses on Korean Diaspora. Among characteristics of Korean Migrant Churches are:
• 1st generation-led church (schism with next generations)
• Inward focused-no evangelistic or missional vision (lack of Kingdom mind)
• Culturally isolated (ghettoised)
• Denominational division or independent
• Most churches are relatively small and at survival stage
• High proportion of members are students
• Stick to strong Korean church tradition (dawn prayer meeting and house visiting etc.)

The challenges facing Korean churches could be divided into those relating to ministry:
Paradigm shift (church growth to Kingdom extension) for church leadership, extensive education unity and networking.
Partnership development and involvement in mission. With regards to education, Korean churches face the challenges of training 2nd generation leadership, issue of identity (Korean with European heritage), systematic education of lay people, relationship between generations in the church, and family matters (divorce, conflict with children). Korean churches are active in mission. There are challenges such as overcoming language and cultural barriers, cooperation with local churches, concept of business as mission, cross cultural adaptation and developing good mission resources.

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