Over 1.75 billion people in the world are South Asian, with over 20 million of them living outside South Asia. These are the diaspora.
The countries which make up South Asia are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Sometimes Myanmar (Burma) is also included. They are linked by the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation.
The term ‘diaspora’ refers to a dispersion of a people from their original homeland. Until fairly recently, it was used to refer to Jews living outside of modern day Israel. Now it is used more widely for all the movements of peoples away from their homelands so the South Asian diaspora are people of South Asian descent who are not living in their original homeland – some of them may never have set foot in their original ‘homeland’. It is estimated that there are about 20 million members of the South Asian diaspora.
The British Empire was the main force for spreading South Asians abroad in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They went as indentured labourers for the expanding plantations in Fiji, Malaya, South Africa, the Caribbean and South America, or worked on the railways of East and Central Africa. The 1947 violent partition of India resulted in the movement of hundreds of thousands of people both within South Asia and beyond. Later, the need for professional and manual workers in post-war Britain, and then in the United States, resulted in the period of mass immigration in the 1950s and 60s. In the early 1970s, the expulsion of Asians from East Africa brought many entrepreneurs and professionals to the West.
Since then, South Asians have continued to move around the globe. The diaspora have made increasingly significant contributions to the countries they now live in. The economy, health, arts, media and culture have all been affected in some way.
Find out more about South Asians, their cultures and beliefs
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India: Gospel Outreach Mission (GOM) Hyderabad ask for prayer that their leaders and evangelists will have health, strength, protection and daily abiding in Jesus as they work tirelessly with the destitute in the Telangana region. prayermate.net/feeds…
Nepal: The leaders of the School for Biblical Teaching would like to train 10% of Nepal’s pastors within 3 years and aim to hold workshops, 30 regionally and 2 centrally in 2019. Pray for the pastors who will attend and finances needed for the programme. prayermate.net/feeds…
Pakistan: With fewer ex-patriate workers in the country the national church has to take responsibility for witness. Pray that God will enable the church to be bold and faithful, and to meet the challenges of a nation in need of Christ. prayermate.net/feeds…
India: Through IEM’s work Triveni village is experiencing much blessing. Thank God for the three young believers who are sharing the Gospel with others and pray for a response among those they meet. prayermate.net/feeds…
India: Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM): Believers in Bihar are facing strong opposition from their extended family and villagers are threatening evangelists. Pray for God’s protection on those experiencing opposition. prayermate.net/feeds…
India: Compass Braille produces Bible material in Braille in 14 Indian languages but there are more to be done! Now that transcription can be done more quickly pray that funding for new languages in India will be made available. prayermate.net/feeds…