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Determined to Stand With the Persecuted 

Baptist minister David Shosanya talks to Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Determined to stand with the p
David Shosanya is a regional minister of the London Baptist Association, which oversees more than 200 Baptist churches in the UK. He co-founded the Street Pastors movement, hosts the Symposium for the State of Black Britain, and has worked with the Government on faith and crime issues.

Last year David travelled to Egypt with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights. Since that time he's had a passion for speaking out for persecuted Christians like those he met on his visit...

He will be leading prayers at the CSW national conference on November 10 - and spoke to the charity ahead of that event.

Googling you makes for interesting reading! You sound more like a policy-maker than a minister. How do you hold together all your interests and passions?
A well known theologian said that Christians should negotiate the tension between present reality and future possibility.

That, in my view, requires us to be in places where decisions are being made and seeking to influence those decisions. My view is that the gospel has as much to say about transforming societies as it does about transforming individuals. Societies are transformed through policy. It therefore seems like a reasonable place to be if one wants to see transformation.

Determined to stand with the pIn September 2011 you accompanied CSW staff on a fact finding visit to Egypt - what affect did that trip have on your faith and also on your work?
My first reaction was shock: I had heard stories of persecution and even had passing interaction with one or two persecuted Christians in the UK.

However to meet persecuted Christians, to have sustained contact with them, and to be present in the environment in which they lived out their faith, and to sense their - and our - vulnerability, was disturbing.

It has made me more determined to stand in solidarity with my persecuted sisters and brothers in Christ and to awaken the churches I serve and minister in to own the burden of the persecuted church.

You will be leading prayer at CSW's Conference - what is the most significant thing you have learned, from experience, about prayer?
The most important lesson I have learnt about prayer is that you keep going despite the feeling and the 'evidence' of circumstances.

Prayer requires an altogether different capacity to see that is rooted in an inward revelation and conviction about who God is. The final word is always God's even when it doesn't look like it!

Do you think that Christians who are persecuted for their faith might experience a different degree of prayer life, because of their circumstances?
Absolutely! Visiting persecuted Christians in Egypt made me realise how so much more reliant they are on God and how real He is to them.

Prayer was a foundational activity - the thing upon which everything else was built: a first port of call and not a peripheral activity that they engaged in occasionally.

David Shosanya is leading prayers at the Christian Solidarity Worldwide national conference on November 10, at the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street, London. 

The day will feature worship, testimonies, prayer and a panel event on the persecution of Christians worldwide with Fiona Bruce MP, religion correspondent of The Times, Ruth Gledhill, the Revd Nick Baines.

Keynote speaker is Pastor Lalani Jayasinghe from Sri Lanka, who will share how she overcame her husband's murder and came to lead his church.

Readers of The Baptist Times are offered a discounted ticket price of £7 instead of £10. Use the discount code BTIMES in the online checkout.
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