South Asian Concern
South Asian Concern is a multi-racial partnership of Christ’s followers with a particular concern for and focus on South Asia and South Asians around the world, including those from a South Asian heritage. We were founded in 1989.
Jesus Christ is our Saviour, leader, guru and master. We believe that his life, teaching, death and resurrection provide both the way for us to have peace with God and also the direction for our lives. We are committed to following him and we believe that he is good news for everybody.
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.
South Asia MapThe 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.