International Theological Seminary

Non-Ethnic Incorporation and Cross-cultural Ministry of Migrant Churches: The case of The Ethiopian Churches in Los Angeles

Author
Fitsum Kebede Tsige D.Min.
Abstract
Migration has increasingly shifting the social demography of global and gateway cities into a complex and diversified places. Simultaneously, there is a great call for a new model of church ministry and urban missions. It is an absolute obscurity to think migrants are living in a vacuum, isolated and without having any attachment in the places of their settlements. Some research projects that focused on migrant communities in the past took ethnic group as a unit of analysis; some migrant church leaders also ignore the fact that the basic principle of Christianity prioritizes our identity in Christ over any ethnic distinctiveness. Contrary to the previous approaches this study inquired the non-ethnic interaction of a migrant community.

As much as there are numerous causes that drive people away from their homelands, a number of drawing reasons to settle to their new places. Similarly, alterity and prejudice on one side and the ‘search for national identity’ on the other are ‘push-pull factors’ in shifting Christian migrants from the mainstream churches to the establishment migrant churches. The question which is often asked, ‘‘why so many African Christians broke their ties with traditional missionary societies and joined the newly emerging churches?’’ remained to be a subject for discussion. Migration should not be seen as a negative social scenario but it is an opportunity to enrich diversity both in a social and in the body of Christ. It is also a prospect for urban missions which migrants’ churches are increasingly taking the lions share...
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