Lausanne Global Classroom: Diaspora

Episode Overview

The first Global Classroom episode focuses on diaspora, a global phenomenon that has marked the 21st century. Today, more than ever before, people are on the move, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and for various reasons—terrorism, economic collapse or opportunity, famine, human trafficking, education, to mention a few. There is a tremendous opportunity for ministry to, through, and beyond diaspora peoples. Learn more about Lausanne Global Classroom

Resources are available to use this Global Classroom episode in a variety of contexts including classrooms, small groups, and individual study.

Episode Outline

  • DIASPORA OVERVIEW
    • Video 1: Redefining ‘Diaspora’ Joy Tira, Lausanne Catalyst for Diaspora, gives a basic definition of diaspora.
    • Video 2: Who are Diaspora Peoples? Yemenis, Filipinos, refugees, and international students are examples of people on the move.
    • Video 3: Why are People on the Move? A brief examination of the dynamics of ‘push’ (what pushes people out of their homeland, whether voluntarily or involuntarily); and ‘pull’ (what pulls people to a particular country).
  • BIBLICAL, THEOLOGICAL, AND HISTORICAL INSIGHTS ON DIASPORA
  • MISSION AND DIASPORA
  • UNDERSTANDING THE PERSON ON THE MOVE

The Cape Town Commitment on Diaspora Peoples

Section IIC-5: Love reaches out to scattered peoples

People are on the move as never before. Migration is one of the great global realities of our era. It is estimated that 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. Some relocate permanently, and others, like three million international students and scholars, temporarily. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. We encourage Christians in host nations which have immigrant communities and international students and scholars 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, practise hospitality, build friendships, invite into our homes, and provide help and services.
  3. 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.
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