Plenary

Welcoming Diversity:
Listening to “muted” and marginalized voices

Why are we still having conversations about discrimination and diversity? Haven’t we as Christians resolved discrimination once and for all? If our identity is in Christ, isn’t that enough?

In this plenary session, we will listen to three different voices, all part of the body of Christ, yet somehow apart. These individuals will share their experiences of often being included, without really being listened to, or having to adapt to the dominant culture while being perceived as subordinate.

All three of our speakers represent subordinated groups whose concerns are trivialized as insignificant:
Connie Duarte will address the question about women.
Israel Olofinjana will talk about racism.
Maia Inbar will discuss how the Jewish community in Europe continue to experience antisemitism.

This session will include key questions that will stimulate our thinking and offer ways to keep learning and changing, as the Body of Christ worldwide grows, not only in numbers, but also in wisdom.
About the speaker
Connie Duarte

Connie moved to Portugal from Canada in 1988 to work with university students. After 10 years with GBU Portugal (IFES), she began working with the Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently, she co-pastors at the Meeting Point, a Baptist church in Estoril, Portugal, while also coordinating a two-year intensive discipleship course with GBU.

About the speaker
Maia Inbar

Maia Inbar was born in Jerusalem, but when she was 8 her family moved to Norway. Growing up, she felt the tension between her Israeli and Norwegian identity, which was only exacerbated by her dad’s Judaism and her mum’s faith in Jesus. Maia went through a long journey to discover who she was. When she was eighteen, she realised that she needed a Saviour and that God provided that through Yeshua. Maia earned a BA in sociology and communication, and moved to London to work for an Israeli start-up company. She came on staff with Jews for Jesus in September 2019. She is now part of the Israeli team, focusing on serving the community and explaining and communicating the gospel in their context.

About the speaker
Israel Olofinjana

Israel Oluwole Olofinjana (PhD) is the Director of the One People Commission of the Evangelical Alliance. He 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 Queens Foundation for Theological Ecumenical Education in Birmingham and on the Advisory Group on Race and Theology of 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. Israel is a Yoruba Nigerian and comes from a Pentecostal background. He is happily married to Lucy Olofinjana who is the Senior Media and Communications Officer for Churches Together in England (CTE). They are blessed with one son Iyanuoluwa (meaning God’s miracle).