Gone are the days of missions being geographically defined. We presently live in an age where the lines are blurred between domestic and international. What happens at home does not stay at home, and what happens abroad influences the rest of the world.
While the challenges of globalization and international migration are great, the Great Commission opportunities are even greater. Here is a glimpse of what is happening in our world as the Lord continues to open doors for the advancement of the gospel. Check out the full report (linked above) for more details.
- Africa Regional Overview: About 30 million Africans have migrated internationally. In 2010, most of the sub-Saharan migration was intraregional and employment-related (64%). However, 90% of migrants from North Africa travel to countries outside of the region. The majority of Africa’s migrants live in Europe, and about half of all of Africa’s migrants live outside the continent.
- Americas Regional Overview: Over 1 million people were displaced after the earthquake in Haiti. The United States is still the top country of destination. In 2010, about 43 million foreign nationals (13.5% of total U.S. pop) were hosted by the United States. The Hispanic population in the United States increased from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million by 2010.
- Asia Regional Overview: Extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, storms and earthquakes caused the displacement of millions of people in Asia. Both the Philippines and Pakistan put forward new laws to protect their citizens working abroad. In 2010, half of the top 10 emigration countries were from this region–Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. A significant number of regional migrations occurred to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, and the Republic of Korea. Thailand was a major destination for migrants from Cambodia. Remittances played an important role in economic development in this region. 2010 remittances were estimated to be $170 billion (USD).
- Europe Regional Overview: Europe has experienced slow recovery from the economic downturn and unemployment remains high. This has resulted in new emigration flows. Many people left Ireland in 2010 seeking employment elsewhere. Net emigration from Ireland reached about 60,000 in 2010, the highest level since 1989. Governments in the region are discussing tighter border controls. EU states worked to establish a safe and orderly return of Pakistanis staying illegally in such territories.
- Middle East Regional Overview: The Middle East has experienced significant recovery from the economic downturn due to high oil prices. A large number of immigrants take up the low skilled jobs in this region. These immigrants come from countries such as the Philippines, Nepal and India. The foreign labor force is very diverse with workers originating from Africa, South America, and the Far East. International migrants account for 87% of the population of Qatar, 70% of the population of the U.A.E., and 69% of the population of Kuwait. In Saudi Arabia (2010), 4.7 million foreign workers outnumbered the 4.3 million Saudi nationals in their labor market. It is estimated that 30.2 million Iraqi nationals (15% of the total pop) remain displaced as a result of the conflict in the region.
- Oceania Regional Overview: Of the 35 million people living in Oceania, 16.8% of the population are international migrants. Large numbers of migrants from Asia and neighboring countries in Oceania are locating to Australia. Australia and New Zealand are the main destinations within the region for migrants from Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. New Zealand has been attempting to attract more highly skilled migrants, particularly young people.