People are on the move as never before. Migration is one of the great global realities of our era. It is estimated that over 200 million people are living outside their countries of origin, voluntarily or involuntarily. The term ‘diaspora’ is used here to mean people who have relocated from their lands of birth for whatever reason. Vast numbers of people from many religious backgrounds, including Christians, live in diaspora conditions: economic migrants seeking work; internally-displaced peoples because of war or natural disaster; refugees and asylum seekers; victims of ethnic cleansing; people fleeing religious violence and persecution; famine sufferers – whether caused by drought, floods, or war; victims of rural poverty moving to cities. We are convinced that contemporary migrations are within the sovereign missional purpose of God, without ignoring the evil and suffering that can be involved.
- A) We encourage Church and mission leaders to recognize and respond to the missional opportunities presented by global migration and diaspora communities, in strategic planning, and in focused training and resourcing of those called to work among them.
- B) We encourage Christians in host nations which have immigrant communities of other religious backgrounds to bear counter-cultural witness to the love of Christ in deed and word, by obeying the extensive biblical commands to love the stranger, defend the cause of the foreigner, visit the prisoner, practice hospitality, build friendships, invite into our homes, and provide help and services.
- C) We encourage Christians who are themselves part of diaspora communities to discern the hand of God, even in circumstances they may not have chosen, and to seek whatever opportunities God provides for bearing witness to Christ in their host community and seeking its welfare. Where that host country includes Christian churches, we urge immigrant and indigenous churches together to listen and learn from one another, and to initiate co-operative efforts to reach all sections of their nation with the gospel.
(From the Cape Town Commitment – Part 2, Section IIC, 5)
Redefining the “Regions Beyond”
By Dr Sadiri Joy Tira | Canada
Regions Beyond: A response
By Dr Atul Aghamkar | India
Regions Beyond: A response
By Dr Bob Roberts | United States
Changing to be strategic…
By Carolyn Kemp | United Kingdom
Diaspora Mission: Keeping Churches in the Conversation
By Dr Grant McClung | United States
Ministering to the Scattered Peoples
By T.V. Thomas, Sadiri Joy Tira, Enoch Wan | South Africa
Cape Town 2010 Advance Paper
International Student Ministries
By Leiton Chinn | United States
Children on the Move: International Adoptees
By Sadiri Joy Tira | Canada
Stories from the roadside – South Asians in Greece
By Thomas Hieber | Germany