MISSIOLOGICAL APPROACH TO MIGRATION

[ 0 ] December 8, 2010 |

janak“Christianity is a migratory religion…the book of Genesis might almost readily have been named the book of ‘migrations’.”1

The word ‘Mission’ has a special place in the faith perspective also, although it is not found in any older translations of the Bible. However, the New Testament clearly regards ‘God’s kingdom’ made known in Christ, as intended for ‘all nations’ and this soon leads to the creation of a terminology in the church which has become known as “Missiology’, This is one of the disciplines of Theology.

Now, as we look at the spread of the church, it is clear that Mission and Movement (in fact, I term it as ‘migration’) are two side of the same coin. The highlight of the Lausanne III congress was on the Diaspora – those ‘scattered’ or ‘driven out’ or ‘exiled’. In this section, I will deal with mission perspectives of migration and how does the mission interprets migration in relation to globalization.

In Acts 17:26-28, the God’s sovereignty is seen over human history:

From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him– though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:26-28)

“God creates nations (Genesis 25:23; Psalm 86:9-10), [provides] languages [and] cultures (Gen 11:1, 6, 7, 9) [and determines the spatial and temporal dimensions of mankind’s habitation] (Acts 17:26-29) which implies that He had not only had used ‘Diasporas as provision; but missional means for: His own glory, the edification of His people and the salvation of the lost.”2

THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON MIGRATIONS

Recently I came across a 9 year old child who grabbed my Notebook. Suddenly her mom took the Notebook away from her and said to her that she would buy her a laptop when she became older. The child replied promptly, “No! Don’t buy a laptop! I love Notebook.”

 

I was astonished by the Child’s reply. Even a 9 year old child knows the difference between a Notebook and a Laptop! We are living in the post-modern age where east and west have met; a globalized world where almost everyone has access to the rest of the world and is expected to move the same way as everyone else. It is also an age when truth has been made relative. Today’s generations are therefore in a dilemma to find the truth which, of course is an absolute. The UNHD (United Nations Human Development) report provides some perspective on just what it means to live in a globalized, but grossly unfair world:

1. The richest 20% of the world’s people consume 86% of all goods and services. The poorest 20% consume1.3%.

2. Americans and Europeans spend $17 billion a year on pet food. This is $4 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world.

3. Americans spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics – 2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide basic education for everyone in the world. 3

There is a huge disparity between these two groups of people. The rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer and poorer. There are many important issues here but I do not wish to generalize about the topic but would rather like to bring the factors that hamper Nepali migration into missiological perspective. “Nepal has joined the ‘global village’ in 1951, after the overthrow of the Rana Regime. (Thompson – Dahal 2005:87) Dr. Inchley identifies four fundamental points which describe the migratory aspects of globalization.4

1. Economic and Financial Factors.

2. Socio-Political Factors

3. Ideological and Cultural Factors

4. Violence and Environment.

Nepal is the 13th poorest country in the world where the unemployment rate ranks on 9th position in the world, heavily dependent on world debt ($ 4.5 billion- 2009).5 Almost a third of the county does not have proper road or access to water, health and education. More than seven million people above six years of age are still illiterate in Nepal. Similarly, in the group of 15-24 year-olds, 86% cannot read and write even a simple letter. All this hampers illiterate Nepalis/semi-literate Nepalis finding access to the outside world…6

The political factors seem to be another cancer for Nepal. Political leaders do not stand by their speeches in their actions. All top leaders seem to be close to chair rather they should be interested into the people. Nepal has tried to elect a Prime Minister more than 15 times, yet been unable to agree and elect anyone! The society is full of fear and trauma. More than 10 years of civil war dispelled any normalcy and caused agitation and fear among the young generation. This is a direct push to the Nepalis to leave their homes. Young people became the army recruiting target of both Maoists and Government. The peaceful land of Nepal became a battlefield where one Nepali has to kill another one. Though many are move in the 21st century, there are many others among the people who have not even seen electricity and cell phones. The global trend of industrialization and urbanization has forced the new generation to seek the internal or external gateway for their survival. The flood of people, therefore, leaving their villages and settling in the cities and abroad has increased significantly over the last 10 years.

….To be continue…

Republished in new layout on 8/9/2013

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