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Missionalia

On-line version ISSN 2312-878X
Print version ISSN 0256-9507

Abstract

STENSCHKE, Christoph. Migration and mission. According to the book of Acts. Missionalia (Online) [online]. 2016, vol.44, n.2, pp.129-151. ISSN 2312-878X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/44-2-99.

After a brief survey of migration in the Bible, this article examines migration - be it voluntary or enforced - in the Book of Acts. Acts describes in Stephen's speech in surprising detail experiences of migration in Israel's past and its theological implications. According to Acts, many early Christian missionaries served in places that were not their places of origin, voluntarily or by force: the disciples ended up in Jerusalem and eventually at the ends of the earth. Others had come to Jerusalem from elsewhere even before encountering the Gospel and ministered throughout the Eastern Mediterranean world as they became involved in mission. Early Christian mission is closely related to migration and dislocation, voluntary or by force, led by the Spirit and for the sake of the Gospel. Repeatedly missionaries had to flee in order to avoid persecution. Despite the tragedy and suffering involved, there were also great opportunities, which were readily seized: the Gospel moved forward. A final section reflects on the significance of this portrayal for the church and its mission in the 21st century.

Keywords : Mission; migration; refugees; Old Testament; New Testament; the Book of Acts; Paul; Jerusalem; Antioch; Corinth; Ephesus.

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