Diaspora Churches: Faithful and Engaged

Diaspora Churches: Faithful and  Engaged

Interview with Pastor Tillarh Mukasa, Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Solution Centre in Stockholm, Sweden


In the second half of 2022, the overarching communication theme for the European Evangelical Alliance will be “Diaspora Churches.” The church landscape in Europe is increasingly characterised by diaspora groups. Church communities in majority societies in different European countries could benefit in many ways from the diversity that diaspora groups contribute to the respective domestic society and church landscape. In the coming months, we would like to create a platform for increased engagement with minority churches and listen to their stories to better understand how we can support them and learn from each other. We are very pleased that Pastor Tillarh Mukasa of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Solution Centre in Stockholm, Sweden has agreed to answer some of our questions.


1. Could you please tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Sweden?


I am Pastor Tillarh Mukasa, a trained IT specialist who came to Sweden over 17 years ago as a missionary from The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Nairobi, Kenya in obedience to God’s call to Europe. I relocated to Stockholm with my family as a Master’s student and continued to lecture on arrival for the last 18 years, all the while helping to plant churches in Stockholm and the neighboring cities (e.g. Uppsala, Södertalje, Norrköping, Västerås, Borlänge, Gävle, etc). I am very passionate about Sweden coming back to Jesus and possess a deep burden for the youth and the Next Generation. I am currently the resident pastor at RCCG Solution Centre parish and RCCG Centro Peniel parish (a Spanish speaking congregation) in Stockholm. I also coordinate part of RCCG’s work in Sweden, which administratively falls under Province 1, Region 3 of RCCG Europe Continent’s organization structure. I am married to Pastor Lydiah Mukasa, and the Lord has graciously blessed us with five wonderful children, Aaron, Angel, Alph, Abigael, and Abel.



2. What is the history of the Nigerian diaspora in Sweden? Could you please share about the history of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)? 


The church is a “missionary-oriented” church and is not only about Nigerians, though it started in Nigeria. For example, I am from Kenya. Though most of the members are of the African descent, there are quite a number of Europeans in the church as well.


The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is an international church organisation headquartered in Nigeria with parishes/branches in most countries all over the world. RCCG was founded in Nigeria in 1952 through the obedience of the late Pa Josiah Akindayomi to God’s instructions to do so. He received specific promises and direct prophecies from God regarding the church at the onset, some of which we are currently witnessing today (e.g. that the church will expand to the whole world, etc). He did not live to see all of the promises, but appointed his successor Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye (a Mathematics professor) just before he went to be with the Lord at age 71. In 1981, after Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye took the leadership reins of the church, which at the time only had a few parishes in Nigeria, the Lord started to rapidly grow the church under his direction. At the moment, RCCG has a presence in over 196 nations of the world with over 2000 parishes and still counting.


One of the vision and mission statements of RCCG is “to plant churches within five minutes walking distance in every city and town in developing nations and within five minutes driving distance in every city and town in developed countries” across the globe.


Hence missionaries were sent from the Headquarters in Nigeria as well as other parts of the world plus Pastors who relocated to Sweden, came and planted churches on behalf of the church. The first parish was planted in Malmö around the year 2000, followed by a second one in Gothenburg in 2001. Ever since then a couple of other parishes have been planted in the different cities/towns all over the country to a total of about 30 parishes in Stockholm, Uppsala, Södertalje, Norrköping, Västerås, Borlänge, Gävle, Lund, Karlskrona, Växjo, Halmstad, Örebro, Jönköping, Borås, Helsingborg, Kalmar.


3. How have you or a team member recently experienced God’s provision or have you seen God moving in your response to current issues?


Our church is faith-based and God has been very faithful and overtly merciful in meeting the needs of the church through our members in very extraordinary ways. We give Him all the Glory and Honor for He deserves all the praise for everything. We have seen the supernatural manifestations of God’s Hand and divine interventions in our parishes through for example, the barren successfully conceiving babies, court cases being overturned, the sick being healed of various diseases, marriages and broken families being restored, suicides being averted, substance abusers being completely restored, mental health issues being arraigned, jobs and businesses flourishing even during the pandemic, and financial breakthroughs, among others.


4. Where have you or a team member seen the RCCG shine God’s light into Sweden’s society? How do you engage with your community? 


We believe that Sweden belongs to Christ and that very soon the nation will return back to God. Therefore, we regularly engage in street evangelism and corporate social responsibility activities to reach the unreached and touch the lives of everyday Swedes. For example, we distribute food on the streets to the homeless, volunteer to mentor the youth in various settings, such as sports, in addition to the traditional active outreach ventures at parks, public squares, and at our workplaces through Christ-centered living. There have been a lot of testimonies and souls won, though we are trusting God for more doors to open (e.g. the prisons, hospitals, elderly homes, schools, etc) so that more souls can be won among the unbelievers in Sweden.


5. In what ways are you and the RCCG engaged with other churches and denominations in Sweden?


We belong to ecumenical churches, Pentecostal movements, and various Christian networks in Sweden. Pentecostal churches have been particularly involved in our events, such as the Festival of Life, Sweden 2016, where Pastor Pele Hörnmark (now Chairman of the Pentecostal European Fellowship, former head of the Swedish Pentecostal Movement) was one of the speakers. Also, we maintain ongoing relationships with many Pentecostal pastors in Sweden and are members of various pastors’ networks there.


6. How has the RCCG welcomed and engaged with Ukrainian refugees since the war in Ukraine began? 


We have churches in Ukraine. RCCG had planted 3 active parishes in Kiev, Kharkiv, and Vinnlyster. These parishes were gravely affected and the members were forced to escape and run for their lives in the midst of the conflict. Our RCCG churches in Poland, Romania, and Hungary swiftly responded first by housing some of the refugees in their houses and in the church premises. The churches in Poland led by Pastor Zion Okuneye in Warsaw coordinated and collaborated with the different embassies to facilitate the evacuation of those refugees to their different home countries. In partnership with the Nigerian Embassy in Warsaw, we provided shuttle buses between the Ukraine/Poland border and helped to evacuate around 40 people to Nigeria. The other RCCG parishes in our Region 3 administrative structure (consisting of Russia, Sweden, Norway, Latvia) also contributed money and other donations to send to our churches in the frontline countries in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Czech Republic. The Regional Pastor Dr. Sola Oludoyi visited some of the members living in a church in Bucharest Romania to deliver food and financial aid. There is still ongoing support for members that have chosen to stay back in Europe. Much of our efforts and support has been directed to the members of our churches in Ukraine within the limited resources at our disposal.

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