‘Gives me great hope for many of my friends … Buy it, read it, and pass it on.’
Gavin Calver, CEO, Evangelical Alliance
When Manoj Raithatha was born in Watford in the 1970s, the country he grew up in and the faith he followed were very different from those he knows today. Back then, no one could have imagined that this shy, young Hindu would become a committed, public Christian, and that this child of immigrants would become the first South Asian Chair of the Board of the Evangelical Alliance. But how did this happen?
During his school years, Manoj was introduced to Christianity and, for a time, was passionate about this God who had died to save us – something none of the gods he knew would have done. However, like many Kenyan Asians, Manoj caught the entrepreneurial bug, and this soon overrode his nascent faith, propelling him to the cusp of The Sunday Times Rich List. He appeared to have it all – every Asian parent’s dream son! A booming property company, a picture-book family and the power to shape his destiny. Yet behind the enviable façade, his reckless ambition was consuming him and wreaking havoc on his marriage.
Then in 2008 his professional and personal worlds were shattered, and his hollow foundations exposed. The financial crisis devastated his business and a sudden illness threatened his son’s life. Morally bankrupted by greed and selfishness, Manoj found himself utterly dependent on the prayers of others and the help of the God he had once glimpsed as a child. What happened next would change everything and lead to him dedicating the rest of his life to Christ.
But while Manoj’s own testimony was unfolding, the country around him was also changing. In 2000, before embarking upon his career in property, Manoj’s pioneering play, BBA [British-born Asian] and Proud, won a prestigious Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Festival. Subsequently, he also collected a BAFTA for My Life as a Popat, a children’s TV series following the lives of a British-Indian family. These productions showcased how the UK was adapting to its new diverse communities, and the awards testified to the impact they were having.
Now an ordained Minister at Pinner Baptist Church, and Chair of the Board of the Evangelical Alliance, Manoj is proof of how these social changes have continued to dramatic effect. He is also well placed to offer powerful reflections on the universal search for meaning, and questions of identity in modern Britain and the evangelical Church. Originally published in 2015, this revised and updated edition of Filthy Rich reflects on these cultural and social factors, and continues Manoj’s story into his present roles. As Rev Dr Graham Tomlin observes, Manoj’s ‘is a voice well worth listening to’!
‘Will resonate with many who are exploring questions of life and faith … a wonderful book to read and also a great gift to give.’
Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Filthy Rich by Manoj Raithatha (ISBN: 9781912726592) is published by Instant Apostle and is available on 23rd September 2022 from bookshops and online retailers. Biography, paperback, 208pp, £9.99.