Asia and the PacificAsia and the Pacific are at the crossroads of the world’s economies, political centers and religions. The powerful and growing Asian economies affect world politics daily. The confluence of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism bring both rich tradition and new questions about how faiths can engage one another on the very continent that birthed them. Among the more than 38 churches and institutions the ELCA engages in 19 countries of this region, we find the oldest Lutheran missions, the newest Lutheran churches, and some of the world’s largest Lutheran churches. The ELCA also collaborates with companion agencies like The Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief, and Church World Service, particularly around development, disaster preparedness and relief.
From India to Myanmar, Lutheran churches are challenged in what it means to be a Lutheran and how to witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. In countries such as China, a broader Protestant identity has taken shape even as the church continues to grow at a rapid pace. In secular societies like Japan, the Christian faith itself is at risk of being irrelevant.
The ELCA and companion Lutheran churches in Asia walk together, bringing a voice of hope that comes from God’s grace. Companions invite the ELCA to share its gifts of self-understanding, its missional engagement of accompaniment, and a networking that connects ELCA companions in the region and beyond. By receiving the gifts of Christian witness in Asia and the Pacific, the ELCA — including the 15 synods that relate to this region through the Companion Synod program — enlarges its understanding of how to witness in the changing North American context. And together with the churches in Asia and the Pacific, the church is enriched in its presence in the world.
Learn how to support global companions in Asia and the Pacific by clicking here.