Israel Olofinjana

Rev Dr Israel Oluwole Olofinjana

Rev Dr Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has led two multi-ethnic Baptist churches and an independent charismatic church. He is the founding director of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World, a mission network initiative that provides cross-cultural training to reverse missionaries in Britain. Israel is an honorary research fellow at The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham and is on the advisory group on Race and Theology at the Society for the Study of Theology (SST). He is a consultant to the executive team of Lausanne Europe, advising them on matters related to diaspora ministries in Europe. He is on the Christian Aid working group of black majority church leaders exploring the intersection of climate justice and racial justice.

The shooting of Chris Kaba

16 September 2022Since that date, members of the Racial Justice Advocacy Forum (RJAF), the National Church Leaders Forum, the Evangelical Alliance, the Ascension Trust and the London Baptist Association have been meeting to hear the concerns of the bereaved family and the wider community, offering pastoral support in their grief, and solidarity in their search for answers. Chris, who was a well-known musician, was soon to become a father for the first time, which only adds to the tragedy. Many people have been…

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Talking Jesus: The growing number of Christians of colour

16 June 2022The sample of over 900 practicing Christians is a microcosm which reflects the national picture and reflects patterns found in other research too. In 2012, almost half of all the worshippers in inner London were black, at 48 per cent. In 2017, non-white churchgoers formed a quarter, 26 per cent, of total English church attendance.[1] The last national census puts the percentage of people of colour at 14 per cent but current projections for 2050 predict an increase to 30 per cent. What do all…

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What can the gospel heart of Ruth teach us about asylum seekers?

21 April 2022On Maundy Thursday, the government announced a scheme that would see asylum seekers flown to Rwanda in East Africa, to be processed there, as part of its immigration policy to tackle unlawful entry into the UK. This has caused outrage from the public for various reasons. Complexity and confusion First, is the amount of money this new scheme will cost to process asylum seekers, about £120 million. Part of the problem is also the amount it will cost to fly people from the UK to Rwanda on a…

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What does it mean to be human and black?

22 March 2022This question becomes more poignant in the light of the recent incident that saw child Q (a 15-year-old black girl)[1] stripped and searched by the police while she was on her monthly period because she was accused of smelling of cannabis. This is shocking as it is degrading, disrespectful and ultimately dehumanising. My goddaughter who is of similar age is in no doubt that this is inhumane. This racial incident has now led to a protest and petition to seek justice. One of the significant…

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Prioritising rest, prioritising the planet

4 February 2022Global leaders, politicians, activists and scientists gathered at climate summit COP26 last year in Glasgow, taking decisive action on the fate of humanity and our planet. But what is the prophetic role of the church when it comes to our environment? If the church is going to play an active prophetic role in climate conversations, we must seek to educate and mobilise the whole body. In essence, the collective wisdom of the whole church is required to tackle the climate crisis. Finding a…

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Biblical unity, with diversity at its heart

1 September 2021I believe there are three theological ideas that can help us appreciate the kind of unity God spoke about the Bible. The first starts with creation. One crucial aspect of creation theology is what the biblical accounts of creation tell us about what it means to be human. Creation theology furnishes us with the understanding that we are all created in God’s image, therefore affirming our equality, dignity, value and respect. God created us all, meaning we all, whether male or female, South…

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Talking about racial justice with young adults

10 June 2021Firstly, in order for our churches or church organisations to become places where God’s multi-ethnic kingdom is expressed, we have to be intentional in our thinking, strategies and actions. People often want a multicultural or multi-ethnic church, but are not prepared to do the hard work that it requires. Have your leaders, board of directors or trustees intentionally sought to have people of Asian, African or Latin American backgrounds on the team? Does your five-year strategy plan…

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God's multi-ethnic kingdom

25 August 2020These social inequalities are present on both sides of the Atlantic. Here, in the UK, the disproportionate representation of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in frontline services reveals that, for far too long, BAME people have been at the bottom of the social-economic scale. Take a look at the US and we see that the police demonisation of and brutality against African Americans, as expressed in the murder of George Floyd, exposes systemic and institutional racism. As these events…

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A dummies guide to reverse mission

26 April 2017If you live in an urban part of the UK, you have probably noticed the many African, Latin American, Caribbean and Asian churches and Christians in Britain. Perhaps you’ve wondered why all these people are coming and starting churches in the UK? One popular phrase used to describe this activity is ‘reverse mission’, but what is reverse mission, and why is it a controversial term? Reverse mission starts with a deep sense of gratitude from those who have benefited from historical European mission…

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