In die Skriflig
versión On-line ISSN 1018-6441
ALAWODE, Akinyemi O.. Mission, migration and human development: A new approach. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.1, pp. 1-7. ISSN 1018-6441. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/IDS.V49I1.1888.
Migration has been a fact of Judaeo-Christian life since the days when Abram left Ur of the Chaldeans to find God's promised land. It has become a far greater reality since the late 20th century, mainly as a result of wars, intranational conflicts, and natural disasters. As a result we have to deal with a larger number of internally or externally displaced persons (migrants) in Africa at the beginning of the 21st century than ever before. At the same time Africa reports on record numbers in terms of church growth. It is therefore clear that migration and Christian mission to migrants are serious items on the agenda of Christian mission in Africa. The article argues that migration is largely a result of a growing phenomenon of dehumanisation in Africa and worldwide: people tend to regard other people no longer as fellow human beings, created in the image of God. For this reason a very important missionary responsibility is to promote humanisation according to the gospel proclaimed by the new human being, Jesus of Nazareth. This calls for human development of migrants as well as indigenous Christians. It is my contention that the Christian community in Africa has not yet grasped this missionary vocation as it should have. Therefore, the article argues that Christian mission in Africa faces the task of humanising relationships between indigenous Christians and other migrants, and that this can be done through a well-developed programme of human development in which both migrants and indigenous Christians should participate.