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Globalization and migration have brought religious pluralism—something that Asians have lived with for millennia—to the West. In this month's installment of the Global Conversation, Singaporean theologian Mark Chan mines his experience as an Asian believer to help Christians everywhere evangelize those who have been blinded by the fallacies of relativism.

Due to globalization and the migration of peoples across national boundaries, religious pluralism has become more pronounced in the so-called Christian West. A shrinking world has brought religions and their adherents closer to each other.

We meet people of other races. We learn about their cultures and beliefs through television and the Internet. The growing presence of mosques and temples—not to mention ethnic (i.e., non-Western) restaurants—reflects the increasingly multiethnic and multireligious nature of Western societies.

This pluralism may be relatively new in the West, but it has always been the order of the day in the lands of Asia. Virtually all the major world religions have their roots in Asian history, and they continue to command the allegiance of billions.

The majority of Christians today live alongside people of other faiths. In this, they are not unlike the earliest Christians, who proclaimed Jesus as Savior and Lord in the face of the many gods and lords of Greco-Roman society.

Like them, we are called to embrace, embody, and declare the truth that God has revealed himself definitively and finally in Jesus Christ. Through his death and resurrection, sinners find forgiveness of sin and are reconciled to God. How then shall we proclaim the finality of Christ, given the fact of religious pluralism and the relativizing of absolute truth ...

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February 2010

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