Songwriters help India's Christians to write worship music that will unite cultures

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, May 16 2012 12:40 p.m. MDT

Our take: Christian songwriters have been working with churches in India to create worship music that can reach the hearts of the nation's very diverse culture. Their goal is to teach Indian Christians how to write their own songs in English, the common language, from an Indian perspective, that share cultural experiences and expressions, rather than teaching them to sing and play songs written by Western worship musicians.

Jeff Bourque made his way to India from Music City USA to share the basics of songwriting.

His mission: to help musicians from several churches in India write songs that speak to their highly diverse culture. In a nation where only one of every 70 people believes in Jesus, Indian Christians are surrounded by Hindu temples full of idols and such sounds as the Muslim call to prayer.

Ethan Leyton*, an ethnomusicologist, and Mani Dutta*, an Indian pastor, invited Bourque, worship leader for Grace Community Church in Nashville, to conduct a songwriting workshop for 18 young men and women from several Indian churches in urban settings.

Leyton and Dutta "dreamed and prayed," as Leyton put it, "that instead of Indian believers singing Hillsong and Chris Tomlin songs all the time, perhaps they could begin writing their own English songs for worship."

Read more at TownHall.com.

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