Diaspora, Migration, Escape and Bible Translation. 1
1. Preface: Unfathomable Diaspora. 1
2. Diaspora – reasons: Attempt at delimitation. 3
3. Effects of the diaspora – groups of people, identity. 4
4 Missiological reflections on the diaspora. 7
4.1 General missiological considerations. 7
4.2 Individual case considerations. 8
4.2.1 Identity(ies) – In the Diaspora. 8
4.2.2 Points of Connection to the Christian Faith – Diaspora and Church. 10
4.2.3 Creative involvement in diaconal structures. 11
Bible translation and diaspora. 12
Migration movements have existed since time immemorial. Various causes have always triggered such movements, and we are interested in how religions have limited or accompanied them. Religious enmities are also among the causes. The Christian church is familiar with such experiences, indeed it is part of such movements, counter-movements and related diaconal aid institutions. In addition to historical facts, this essay will consider missiological aspects in order to do justice to the thematic blocks of migration and diaspora. Questions that revolve around the formation of identity(ies) play a role here. In order to understand these extensive topics, they will be narrowed down to anthropological observations under specific local movements and their political-social effects in Germany. “Identity” is examined for missiological reasons on the basis of three basic needs of migrants (incidentally of all people): a.) the need for recognition through work or social engagement, b.) the need to recall a linguistic and cultural framework as “home”, and c.) the need to satisfy a healthy curiosity about life in order to shape one’s (own and social) future. Furthermore, a biblical-Christian investigation offers the possibility to take up impulses that arise from the life situation of migrants in the diaspora. Here the Bible translation movement plays a role, which will be discussed. The current East-West oriented Asian-Middle Eastern refugee movement from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria in the direction of Europe, with a focus on Germany, offers the current basis for such considerations. The South-North oriented movement from Africa will only be touched upon, as it has partly different causes and effects.
1. Preface: Unfathomable Diaspora
From Senecca the quote is handed down, “To be everywhere is to be nowhere.” Recognizing that the complex and wide-ranging topic of “diaspora” can never be discussed conclusively, the situation of migrants and their trajectories from Turkey to Germany have been used as examples and comparisons for this article. Furthermore, it deals with the complex of questions of how (individual and group) identities are formed and how they present themselves in the encounter with migrants. All this with a view to derive missiological implications and to think about possible strategies of action for evangelization and diaconia and Bible translation.
What does diaspora mean in today’s age of almost unlimited mobility? Seneca’s wise but mystical statement indicates that this topic can never be discussed conclusively. Most modern studies in this field come from a sociological perspective and discuss the issues of assimilation, integration and inclusion of populations that call themselves diasporas or are perceived as such from outside. In the process, individual aspects often come to the fore, as they are considered significant in the various disciplines: These can be linguistic characteristics or peculiarities, from a Christian theological perspective also ecclesiastical or missiological questions, from a religious studies perspective intercultural theological peculiarities, from an anthropological perspective gender-specific or cross-cultural observations, from an Islamic religious theological background sociological questions and much more.
Historically, the mass migrations during the Roman Empire resulted in large shifts of ethnic groups. They were preceded by the Celtic movements along the Danube in the 4th century B.C., followed by the Germanic tribes migrating from the north and many more. Besides the spread of Christianity (1st – 4th century A.D.), the spread of Islam (6th – 9th century A.D.) is also to be mentioned. War campaigns and violent spreads were initiated by the Mongolian storms of the 11th – 13th century A.D. These led to the reshaping of the Near Eastern region during the High Middle Ages. Thereafter, the Ottoman Empire reconstituted not only North Africa, but also eastern southern Europe, the Balkans and the so-called Fertile Crescent in the Near and Middle East. Probably the largest modern migration movement occurred from Europe to North America from 1800 to 1925, when one in five Europeans immigrated. Parallel to this was Chinese migration to Canada and North America. Since the nineteen-sixties, migration movements have increased many times over. It is estimated that in 2005 there were 200 million migrants worldwide. This is approximately 3% of the world’s population, affecting one in 34 people (estimate circa 2005 in Hanciles 2008:118, 121). Due to the continuous increase of trouble spots and the explosion of the world population since the beginning of the 20th century, we can therefore speak of “the epoch of migration” (:118).
This article deals with the sociological hotspots as they are discussed in the public due to the current, i.e. since the year 2015, so-called “refugee crisis” from Pakistan, Afghanistan and majority Syria to Europe and here especially Germany and Sweden. The migration movement from the Maghreb states, which is perceived as threatening by the public, in reality comprises only a few thousand and does not play a role here, since there is a political push for rapid deportation. Likewise, the quite interesting field of political negotiations with the countries of origin, mostly concerning financial payments, is not considered here, as this is beyond the scope.
The shaping of life is based on external environmental factors that are shaped politically and by nature, including basic human needs. These basic needs shown here are not to be understood as conclusive. For practical reasons, the needs for safety and security and others have been neglected. Based on anthropological observations of the practical life of migrants, three basic needs could be identified, among others:
a.) the need for recognition through work or social engagement,
b.) the need to remember a linguistic and cultural framework as “home”, and
c.) the need to satisfy a healthy curiosity about life in order to shape one’s own and society’s future.
The western dominant perspective, which is taken here, tries to meet the missiological possibilities, which are conceivable at the moment. It is well known that thankfully Asian, South American and African organizations and institutions are also becoming increasingly missiologically active in Europe. An increasing publication of their experiences is to be awaited with joy. Furthermore, the experiences with the European “guest worker movement” of the sixties of the last century will be referred to, since they show long-term developments for the question here.
2. Diaspora – reasons: Attempt at delimitation
The Greek term διασπορά diaspora “dispersion” is found in reference to migration movements. These refer to a (former) minority in a place that they themselves do not describe as their place of origin. Early on, the term was used to refer to the Jewish people who were forcefully resettled from Israel by the Assyrians (9th century BCE) and later from Judah by the Babylonians (6th century BCE) to Babylon (e.g., 1 and 2 Chronicles; 1 and 2 Kings). The term, which originated in the Hebrew Bible translated into Greek (Deut. 28:64), was understood as a slur but entered history as “Jewish diaspora.” It was later applied to countless forced or unforced migrations (Wan 2012 under Diaspora Quick Links ). Where political or religious persecution occurs, the term quickly finds its place, as the extensive, far from exhaustive list that Wan points out (2012: List of References).
If one wants to list the reasons that lead to a diaspora situation, one can roughly distinguish between voluntary and forced migration, as well as migration that can be limited in time and leads to a diaspora, although there are of course overlaps. Voluntary is the move to a previously foreign region as a subsequent move, for professional or social reasons. The term forced refers to situations of persecution, war or misfortune in which the homeland must be left due to external coercion. Refugee or displaced persons movements from crisis areas are certainly by far the best known categories. Overlaps in motivations or reasons for migration can be found, for example, for economic reasons. The latter include migrant workers, who may be voluntary (e.g., cargo shipping) or forced (e.g., slave labor, prostitution, human trafficking). Unnamed here are developments that were initially voluntary, but then degenerated into coercion and vice versa. The military advances of some ethnic groups, like the Huns (5th – 3rd century B.C.), the Vikings (until the 8th century A.D.) and the Mongols (see above) became in their course in-evitably necessary movements, in order to guarantee the supply or they ran off in the fact that the peoples merged into others.
Temporally, one can assume short-term and long-term phenomena. Thus, we speak of short-term diaspora situations, such as the recruited Indian workers on the new Panama Canal or the 2016 Olympics. Long-term diaspora situations also occur, spanning generations. A diaspora may also dissolve altogether, with one group returning home (e.g., Albanian asylum seekers) or assimilating completely into the new environment (e.g. French Huguenots in Germany; large segments of Sinti and Roma).
However, the own and internal assignment of a group to this term is problematic. Is the migrant worker who comes from India, was born there, grew up in Madagascar, came to Italy through work and married an Italian woman, there really in the diaspora? Does a group with similar backgrounds constitute one? What is “home” for these people? Do they need one for their own identity? How is identity defined in such cases? The assignment from the outside seems simple at first glance, but it is not at all clear, especially since one’s own assessment ultimately decides how someone locates himself.
An important question concerning the diaspora is the question of identity. It is difficult to clarify, because people who were born in a country and have always lived there, except for short stays abroad, usually think nationalistically and thus form the contrast for the “others” (otherness). People who do not share this experience are considered strangers. “Strangeness” is opposed to nationalism. Nationalism, however, is an expression of belonging and homeland, as an internal and external determination of identity. The identity documents (identity card, passport, driver’s license) prove the external characteristics of belonging. The permanent proof of residence becomes the characteristic of this public documents. As shown in the previous example, this still says nothing about the person and where he or she locates him or herself internally, if this is at all possible or necessary. Multiple identities are possible and sometimes necessary. In addition to the above examples, these include so-called labor nomads from construction, shipping, freight and logistics, etc. They cover all social strata. They themselves form social strata in their respective environments (e.g. German commuting doctors in Norway or Switzerland). This can be temporary or does have fixed structures. In the construction industry, temporary work projects are based on the use of temporary workers (e.g. major sporting events, huge construction projects) as well as permanent support personnel (e.g. nuclear power plants, dams, etc.).
“Diaspora” is therefore by no means a homogeneous term, which only refers to a person or group in a foreign country, it also includes the underlying life situation and how it came about. On the one hand, diaspora is an external characteristic assigned to a person or group as an identity, but at the same time it is also an internal identity characteristic that expresses itself as “foreign”, “stranger(s)” or “being in a foreign country”.
In political or social considerations, the impact of a diaspora situation on the affected people themselves, as well as on the population that considers itself native, is usually discussed. This is another aspect that should be included in the considerations. Some diaspora situations are noticed only in the course and with the appearance of sociological-political tensions. Before that, it could be a hitherto unnoticed movement. This includes tourism, which is a migratory movement that can lead to temporary diaspora. For German tourists, Mallorca, the east coast of Spain and southern Turkey represent a temporary diaspora.
3. Effects of the diaspora – groups of people, identity
With regard to the three basic human needs mentioned at the beginning (points 1 a-c), which have a particular impact in the diaspora, the question of “identity” is limited here with regard to
a.) work / social commitment,
b.) linguistic-cultural reference back to the “homeland”, and
c.) shaping the future.
In most cases, the diaspora leads to an increased perception of one’s own identity in a foreign country (Hiebert & Hiebert 1995:285-286; Muslims in Europe in Hanciles 2008:125). Only in the recognition of “foreignness” as a characteristic of demarcation from the new, can a field of tension open up with one’s own, as well as foreign identities. This becomes very clear in the political organization of radical groups abroad. The most prominent examples in Germany are the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê) and, increasingly, ISIS/IS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; Daesh) (on the PKK, see Bruinessen 1999:8-10). Both movements are considered to be foreign-controlled and thus assigned to the diaspora. Peaceful political movements that revolve around the diaspora are innumerable.
The best known are the associations of displaced persons that formed after the Second World War. The diaspora long ago became the homeland, and yet there is also talk of “homeland” about the expulsion areas (e.g. Salzborn 2000). Here, too, there are several underlying identities.
How are the identities that develop in a foreign land characterized? A diaspora situation affects many socio-political groups, cultures and nations:
1. The individual or group that is in a foreign land.
2. The culture(s) in whose national territory the diaspora develops,
3. The culture(s) from which the diaspora has moved to a foreign land.
4. International institutions and organizations that promote the affairs, needs and rights of social structures.
For the original “homeland”, the groups in the diaspora constitute:
1. A political mouthpiece,
2. They are financial supports and
3. They facilitate emigration through (family) reunification, partnerships and serve as illegal points of contact.
For the new “homeland”, these diaspora groups are challenges in social and professional integration, reasons to deal with the political situations of the countries of origin, as well as the basis for shaping a common future as part of the newly constituted overall society.
The German-Turkish past is particularly revealing in this respect, as it has all these elements. Originally, it was primarily military aid that led to the establishment of Turkish units in the Prussian army as early as the 18th century. Assimilation was quite common in this movement. This first Turkish presence was followed by the so-called “guest workers” from October 30, 1961 (Bad Godesberg guest worker agreement). This established a Turkish diaspora. Not only the numerical size, but also the ambiguity of the political status of this group of people, as well as the duration of their stay led to a temporary alienation from the German host country. By family reunion and political-economic deterioration of the situation in the homeland (Turkish military coups 1960, 1971 and 1980; state crisis 1991-1994), as well as economic strengthening of the Diaspora became this the political mouthpiece. The Turkish diaspora campaigns in the EU for women’s rights, the Kurds, Zaza, Alevis, Armenians and social minorities (homosexuals, transsexuals, intersexual, etc.). It supports financially the members and political groups actively (e.g. PKK, building projects such as tenement houses), as well as passively by a pronounced travel tourism (catchword: Auto-Putt of the seventies and eighties through Yugoslavia) and strengthened by a pronounced following of family members, as well as illegal immigration with later toleration.
Comparable movements and developments can be seen for France from the Maghreb states, which were former French colonial territories or close trading partners (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), and for Great Britain from the Asian Commonwealth (India, Pakistan). Here, economic reasons play the main role. Flight movements from Turkey can be traced back to the persecution of the Christian armies (1896 and 1915) in the transition to the Turkish Republic as well as non-Islamic or non-Sunni groups (e.g. Yazidis, Alevis, etc.) due to the military coups in 1960, 1980 and the unrest of 1994-1996, as well as politically unstable times. Ethnic reasons also play a role. What these groups all have in common is that they sooner or later became politically active in the diaspora and also formed themselves religiously. In the homeland, interference from abroad in turn led to increased tension with the groups that remained behind.
Obviously, Spanish, Italian and Greek groups in the diaspora, which in the same way originated from this period of agreements on guest workers, found their identity(ies) via the path of integration and assimilation. It should be noted that there was a mutual interaction between the diaspora and the countries in which it was established. In Europe, it is noticeable that the Islamic-Turkish diaspora has the greatest difficulty in integrating and developing in a positive and enriching way. Again and again the religious question flares up whether Islam can be part of German culture. No matter how this question is answered, it is clear that Islam has arrived in Germany through the developments surrounding migration and the diaspora. Thus it is to be evaluated missiologically and a starting point for the intercultural theological dialogue. The sociological-political repercussions of the diaspora on the countries of origin weigh heavily, as the French relationship with the Maghreb states and the German-Turkish relationship show.
The European situation shows that, in the long run, the host countries developed their economies positively because of or in spite of the diverse diaspora situations. Integration into the labor market has been largely successful in all countries. However, it cannot be overlooked that there has been an increase in violent crime by specific diaspora groups. Organized drug, procurement and smuggling crime in particular finds European markets to serve via the diaspora. In particular, drug smuggling from Afghanistan via Turkey is worth mentioning here, with many parties earning money on the way to the consumer. Likewise, forced prostitution from eastern countries, which led to human trafficking from east to west (Jürgs 2014). There are completely different economic movements from the Asian states, which are economically poorly off, to the rich Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Emirates, Oman, Bahrain). The same applies from the south of America towards the northern United States of America (USA). In general, this form of crime, human trafficking, and thus the high-yield human smuggling goes from poor to rich. The resulting diaspora situation leads to illegality and thus to criminalization. At the same time, diaspora groups willingly participate in this form of criminality because of their connections and networks.
It can therefore be stated that the diaspora situation has both positive and negative consequences for the individual, as well as for the diaspora and the countries of origin. Particularly negative consequences are political and religious radicalization, economic impoverishment of social groups, social ethnic tensions, and the associated criminality (criminal offenses against foreigners, violent crime). Outstanding positive consequences can be found in the long-term economic betterment of individuals and groups, the political and economic influence on the countries of origin through the involvement of political and economic institutions, committees and the media as a mouthpiece, as well as the enriching intercultural encounters.
4. Missiological reflections on the diaspora.
How can diaspora and its attendant social phenomena be addressed missiologically? Two complementary missiological starting points come together. First, there is evangelism, as a Christian means and expression of reaching out and communicating with the microcultures that are perceived or feel themselves to be diasporas (e.g., Derbe et al. Acts 14:20-23). Secondly, there is diaconia (Christian aid), as energetic and active support to the neighbor. Both together aim at bridging the gap between the diaspora situation and the perception as “strangers” (e.g. Acts 21:7 Paul spent time with people). Of course, this can and should only intervene to the extent that the group or an individual wants it to. Some diaspora situations, as mentioned earlier, are not perceived or are intentional.
4.1 General missiological considerations
From the observations described above, general missiological considerations arise, which can be grouped into the following, non-exhaustive, points:
1. Missiological undertakings towards persons or groups in the diaspora are always perceived as political. This political perception occurs, in each case, from different perspectives. Thus from the diaspora itself, from the national or resident cultural circles surrounding the diaspora, from the national or resident cultural circles in the country of origin, and last but not least from international organizations or institutions that deal with a diaspora group (see above regarding groups of people No. 1-4). If one takes the radical groups, described above, as an extreme bandwidth, the reactions range from self-sacrificing self-giving (sympathizers) to violent combating of the diaspora. In light of these perceptions, missiological ventures themselves should be transparent and well-organized. Since many such undertakings begin in private and at the local level, it is important to quickly seek publicity and present one’s work. This at least partially removes the possibility for some critics to draw false conclusions and to discredit polemically (e.g. proselytism, secret service activities). One cannot protect oneself against false accusations and slander.
2 In the diaspora, groups rarely form a homogeneous unit. Rather, they reflect the culture of origin and are composed of a hodgepodge of sociological streams with different emphases. Common denominators are the language or the derivation of a common origin which results from traditions, myths and localizations. Through this, a social microculture locates itself in its surrounding society and defines itself through these ties. Likewise it is defined from the outside on the basis of these characteristics. From the outside, however, superficial or false knowledge can also lead to a group assignment. Here, terms such as “Turkish guest workers” or “Turks” should be mentioned, which are applied to Kurdish (Kurmanji speakers), Zazai (Zazaki speakers) and also Aramaic-Syrian orthodox people from Turkey. The terms “Africans” or “blacks,” on the other hand, apply to all dark-skinned people. The paraphrase “foreigners”, on the other hand, is very general and serves to distinguish people from their own national definition. From a missiological point of view, the linguistic-anthropological approach to a group is called for. The biggest hurdle, namely language, is easier to overcome in the diaspora through the national language than would be the case in the country of origin, where the national or lingua franca bears an additional important meaning. Nevertheless, a basic knowledge of the mother tongue is a way into the center of culture. This realization, which has meanwhile become a political issue, leads as a demand, at least in Germany, to intensive learning of German by migrants. As an anthropological approach, an ethnographically oriented investigation of the cultural differences to one’s own culture offers itself. This should start with a few outstanding observations and then go into detail. Usually it is the clothing (e.g. headscarf debate), the way the sexes deal with each other and with each other (segregation patterns) and the religious structure (e.g. Islam, Alevism, Sufism, Parsism) that are of interest. The insights that come with this form communicative starting points (evangelization), they point to structural needs, which calls for diaconal action.
3 The reasons or causes for a diaspora situation sometimes bring traumatization with them. These are repressed, negated or used as a means to obtain services. The traumas can be overcome through care and diaconia (Diakonie). It becomes dangerous when this problem is approached with an arrogant or overestimating attitude. It is important to have recourse to specialized personnel (pastoral-therapeutic or psychological specialists) and to pay attention to gender-specific characteristics. The situation is completely different with the not to be underestimated number of adventurers who have left their home country because of a lack of perspective. Insofar as they are accessible, the diaconia is focused on language work for integration and the introduction to the labor market.
4.2 Individual case considerations
This paragraph includes questions of identity, links to the Christian faith and creative integration into diaconal structures.
4.2.1 Identity(ies) – In the Diaspora
One starting point for missiological action is the question of identity. This is all the more so because one’s own definitions of identities can be questioned by the biblical message. The questions in this regard revolve around the location of identity(ies)? How do migrants identify themselves? What identity(ies) are given to them from outside? Here, the encounter field of the original “home(s)” as well as the new “home” plays an important role. Many reports of the experiences of the second and third generation of migrants point to this field of tension. This is especially true if they have grown up in a new home state and are citizens there and also feel themselves to be such, and they are still addressed to their avoidable country of origin, their skin color, their frizzy hair or to their parents and they are classified as “strangers, foreigners”.
A national identity makes it possible to move within the local context of political and social possibilities. This includes civil rights and duties. The general human rights are superior to them (e.g. UN human right charter). The civil rights of a state are only partially different for diaspora situations, otherwise the penal regulations and the disciplinary system apply to all. Particular specific obligations, such as language acquisition for participation in the labor market or the temporal and spatial limitation of the right of residence, and further specific rights, such as the duration of residence for obtaining social benefits, apply only to migrants and thus to the diaspora. Belonging to a national identity provides the basis for traveling abroad and for bureaucratic activities (registering a residence, opening a bank account, registering a vehicle).
The question of identity and thus of belonging is a challenge for Christian evangelism. For theological reasons, national identity is often identified as unimportant and expanded to include a spiritual and global perspective. Participation in the global-timeless church is postulated, from a spiritual dimension, as the proper one. In principle, this idea offers the possibility of overcoming national limitations within the framework of the universal church. However, it must be pointed out that national points of view have always played a role in the Bible. They are presupposed as given realities, even mentioned consciously. Thus the affiliation to the Jewish people is of importance as the apostles, Jesus Christ and the Old Testament arch fathers and prophets prove it in distinction to the Philistines, Canaanites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans. But also the affiliation to non-Jewish political-national greats is shown, like the Samaritans or the Decapolis. The apostle Paul made use of his right as a Jewish citizen under the name Saul (Acts 9:14 in conjunction with 8:1, 3 and 9:1), as well as of his Roman citizenship (Acts 22:27). A person’s linguistic and cultural identity provides insight into his ideas about the world (worldview) as well as his former environment. Language reflects both. If one knows such linguistic-cognitive and anthropological connections, then it is also easier to approach the other person in terms of content. The basic needs for work, an origin (first “home”) and participation in shaping the future reflect this identity.
The motivation of migration is based on economic, political or personal reasons and causes the departure from the homeland. For this reason, it is important to become somewhat aware of the situation there and also to know the possible motives of migration. This is to be asked from general sources and not from the persons concerned. In most cases, questions about the reasons for migration only spread mistrust and inhibit the relationship. Incidentally, this also applies to personal questions about visible physical disabilities or psychological traumas (war, crime, misfortunes). The latter is also not permitted for human rights reasons, but quickly becomes criminally relevant if such knowledge were to be published or coercion could be proven. Therefore, caution is required here. For ethnographic studies, therefore, consent is required for the recording, transcription and processing of the data. In the case of lengthy research, permission may need to be repeated.
“Identity” in the diaspora concerns both the past, what one was, and the future, what one wants to become (first “home and shaping the future). Constantly, migrants are unconsciously confronted with this dilemma. About the children, political changes in the country of residence as well as the countries of origin and finally the own competences (professional successes or failures, social dependencies) the question is constantly with which culture, which state entity one identifies oneself more. Since time immemorial there have been economic as well as political migration movements, only in the fewest cases, as today, a close connection to the country of origin was possible for political or financial reasons. Visa regulations, favorable and extensive mobility offers (flight, car, bus, train) and recently global agreements in the banking sector make close relations possible. Today financial links are possible. Rental houses, real estate and companies in the countries of origin are the rule (own observations among migrants of Turkish origin). These developments make it even more difficult to decide on an identity and are responsible for different identities assigned from the outside and self-perceived. Migrants who have been persecuted for religious or political reasons have created a future for themselves by working long hours in the country of residence. However, once a certain level of financial security has been reached, the laws of socio-cultural obligations come into force with respect to those who have remained in the home country. This leads to an economic tie back. The provision of housing, the repurchase of former property and the accompanying presence in the former home country lead to new tensions and challenges.
The developments shown here indicate the deep attachment to the culture of origin as the first “home”. Missiological planning needs to understand and pay attention to the approach and the identity assignments, of the “both here and there”. People in the diaspora can, and usually do, consciously live with these different identities. They do not peddle them, since there can also be areas of tension with the surrounding culture or with the culture of origin. Only rarely does it happen that no identity is categorized as “home” at all, but the web can be opaque to outsiders. The identity felt by the migrants themselves represents the starting point for the encounter, even if it is overemphasized and idealized. This can lead to alienating segregations, such as the emphasis on not wanting to “pollute” oneself by dealing with “Westerners” that is foreign-religious people (purification phenomenon). Nevertheless, such attitudes are also a starting point for evangelistic and diaconal Christian approaches.
4.2.2 Points of Connection to the Christian Faith – Diaspora and Church
The above-mentioned basic needs for a.) recognition through work or social commitment, b.) a return to a linguistic and cultural framework as a “home” and c.) a healthy curiosity about life in order to shape one’s own (and society’s) future are excellent starting points, since they are dealt with elementarily in the biblical message and contextualized from an ecclesial perspective.
Different identities bring with them many life experiences. These are not only positive in the sense of broadening horizons, but can also be of negative origin and stem from violence and destruction. The global increase of religious movements during the 20th century originates, among other things, from the human experiences of the two world wars, the rapid economic upswing and the resulting economic gap between the industrialized nations and the two-thirds world. Increasing environmental catastrophes, climate change and expansive population growth contribute to the fact that religions are important identity-forming and society-binding factors.
Wherever microcultures emerge, for linguistic, socio-cultural or other reasons, they are evolving as points of contact for Christian efforts, a profile also occurs of how they relate to Christian commitment. The range goes from rejection or indifference to acceptance and openness to new ideas (healthy curiosity). Regardless of this attitude, there are material needs, such as livelihood security, provision for life and participation in public life, which want to be satisfied (recognition through work / social commitment). Unfortunately, the latter need is only of secondary importance for the church due to the biography of Jesus Christ as it has been handed down. The self-sufficiency as a carpenter until his public appearance at the age of about 30 years becomes only indirectly clear. The fact that there are no accusations from this time indicates that the work was handled reliably (Mk 6:3). Inferred would be the social recognition and inner satisfaction that Jesus of Nazareth experienced through it. Nevertheless, the Kenosis (divestment) of the Godhead manifested itself by Incarnation in that Jesus performed manual labor and made himself and his followers dependent on the provision of disciples only from his public ministry onward (Mk 3:20; 7:24; Lk 5:29; feeding miracles, etc.).
The congregation can establish links through networks and connections with social and public agencies (hospitals, administrations, service providers, etc.) that enable diaconal attributes to be included in congregational life as well (basic need a). In linking diaconal involvement with community-building elements, migrants are not only encouraged to provide for themselves socially and financially, but they also learn more about community-church life. The confrontation with Christian doctrine, lifestyle and congregational life usually also represents an interreligious experience. This poses a challenge to the church and community, as apologetic elements force reflection on one’s own position. In this area, special attention must be paid to intercultural encounters and intercultural communication. This also means to have the “first home” of the migrants in mind (basic need b). Christian activities there (resident churches, Christian presence through development aid, etc.), the languages spoken, the national and ethnic history, as well as leaders and social structures are of importance. Throughout the world, the majority of social structures are tribal or divided by bloodline, headed by individual leadership elites (tribe or heroic family). These elites are the mediators to the environment, they are mouthpieces and filters for overall social demands and developments. The European tradition of so-called town twinning is a model for churches and congregations to network. International partner churches or partnerships with social institutions broaden the view and offer a field of activity for migrants, young people and also pensioners. Shaping one’s own and society’s future while satisfying healthy human curiosity is possible within the framework of the church through diaconal-political commitment (basic need c). Local networking with the most diverse institutions (foreigners’ advisory councils, inclusion institutions, and district leaders) forms the foundation of such activities. After knowledge of German is available, migrants have access to such networks, or they can actively engage in them. This Win-Win situation serves the Christian community and church as well as the actors.
4.2.3 Creative involvement in diaconal structures
It would now be irresponsible to say that the diaspora is an easy field for Christian commitment. Language and cultural hurdles have to be overcome. This obstacle is countered by one’s own experience and superiority in one’s own socio-cultural context. Crossing borders offers the community and the church the opportunity to grow in numbers and knowledge. However, it remains to be weighed which offers of the community serve the migrants and which would be necessary to cover the basic needs mentioned. With regard to the need for recognition through work and social engagement (basic need a), the approaches of “transformation” are promising. Neighborhood work and social institutions (e.g., second-hand clothing stores, crèches, and Christian shops/coffees) offer points of contact but also potential jobs. The networking with such institutions and the involvement of public institutions (e.g. Federal Employment Agency, Social Welfare Office / Office for Integration) is another mainstay. The basic need to refer back to one’s own origin (basic need b) can be met by obtaining information about the language and culture and thus establishing points of contact. Contacts to the homeland through the church or community would be a next step. Partnerships with schools, leaders and elites can lead in the long run to exchange of experiences, visiting contacts and others.
Shaping the future is both a spiritual and social challenge for the church (basic need c). Theologically, the contemplation of a rapture, or soon salvation of the believers (1 Thess 4:17) is a counterproductive eschatology, which is diametrically opposed to the congregational preparation and shaping of the future of the congregations by the apostles. The New Testament congregations were prepared in the long term for confrontation with dissenters and the necessary structures, as well as theological-missiological foundation stones, were laid. These include spiritual equipping (Eph. 6:11-20), the indications of things to come and the proving of faith (Rev.; Heb. 11:1-11; etc.), and lastly the promise that only the reappearance of the Christ will usher in the new age (Acts 1:10-11). Homiletically, preaching and evangelization must have in view the formative power of the church. Social projects are to be based on the shaping of the environment, social structures and the involvement of different cultures, minorities and marginalized groups. Especially marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, people of different origins or sexual orientation, should be included as part of a society that reflects diversity. It makes sense to carry out such projects outside of one’s own framework, as this gives those addressed more room to maneuver. However, physical constraints should not be an obstacle to participation, as is often the case for people with mobility impairments. Migrants with such limitations would have to overcome a double hurdle with such obstacles, since their own mobility limitations already exclude them from many things in their own environment.
Bible translation and diaspora
A not insignificant part of the Christian mission can be seen in making the Holy Scriptures linguistically and culturally accessible to the language groups of this world. This can be derived from the Jesuit teaching and mediating mandate to make disciples (Mat 28:18-20). As this is expressed in Revelation as an eschatological principle, people from every language and nation will one day stand before the throne of God (Rev. 5: 9-10, 13).
From the beginning of the Church, this multiplication of the Church has been practiced through mother-tongue Bible translations. The best known examples are the Greek Septuagint of the 2nd century B.C., which became the basis of the Church, the Syro-Aramaic Peschitta (2nd century B.C.), the Latin Vulgate from the 4th century, the Slavic, and Gothic translations of the Bible. From the 19th century, the work on Bible translations into smaller and smaller language groups increases. The century of Bible translations is supported by numerous individual initiatives, by organizations and by the Church. From the beginning, diaspora groups played a significant role, because they were often able to translate the Bible from the lingua franca into the native language as bi- or polylingual mediators. All in all, even today this group has the special significance that, in contact with Christianity, they enrich their own linguistic and cultural area through the translation of the Bible. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that the migration experience offers a more or less openness to the new environment, its contexts and ideas. On the other hand, the longing for one’s homeland also generates a need to communicate about the new situation in which one finds oneself, and in doing so, a transcultural process is initiated.
The project of a Bible translation as a transcultural process offers the possibility to work on the linguistic, theological and sociological points together in a team structure. The diaspora gap from the national culture to the migration culture is a particular challenge. The aforementioned question of identity plays a key role here. Through a product with which a national culture identifies itself, and that is what the Bible is, a part of the cultural heritage is passed on to a migration culture. This interaction causes a form of rapprochement in both social groups, which can be taken up by the church. For the migration culture, dealing with a foreign cultural asset is a challenge, because the reactions to it are not predictable.
It is necessary at this point to mention also revisions or new translations made abroad by the diaspora, of Christian-influenced migration cultures, as this challenges the native church at home (e.g. Aramaic translation projects in USA and Europe). On the one hand, the question must be answered as to why a revision is not carried out by the church in the home country, and on the other hand, agreement or cooperation between the Bible translation project and the home church is indispensable in order to gain the necessary acceptance. Nevertheless, the diaspora also plays an important role here, as it can translate creatively and independently of local influences.
Bible translation projects in the diaspora offer many advantages, but also have challenges to overcome. The advantages are, on the one hand, great political and personal security for all involved, since they usually take place on a small scale, with little public participation, in urban situations. Furthermore, diaspora circles are usually well wired with each other, so that they can quickly respond to each other and react. Finally, the diaspora situation also offers quick access to academic and technological resources, as educational institutions are close by and can be used unobserved. One challenge is that diaspora groups are not homogeneous units and it is difficult to find and mobilize the often few interested parties. This also includes the difficulty of balancing effective management by external project management, consultants, financial support, and the feeling of ownership of the project by the translator team. Likewise, just living in the diaspora for the migrants is already burdensome and burdened by many conflicts, so a Bible translation project adds additional burdens.
In this article, the causes and effects of migration with regard to diaspora have been highlighted. Diaspora, as a complex social phenomenon, is to be differentiated into voluntary and forced migration, as well as migration that can be limited in time and leads to diaspora. External attributions as well as internal feelings about diaspora situations cannot be played off against each other. Where and how a migrant or a person or a group defines itself as a diaspora is ultimately left to the actors themselves. Nevertheless, typical characteristics, perceptions, challenges and advantages are recognizable, which can be applied to the diaspora from the outside. This study thus refers to migrants in the diaspora. For the missiological yield, the perspective could be narrowed down to three basic needs: a.) the need for recognition through work or social engagement, b.) the need to reflect on a linguistic and cultural framework as a “homeland,” and c.) the need to satisfy a healthy curiosity about life in order to shape one’s (own and society’s) future. With regard to the question of “identity” or “identities” generated by a diaspora situation, the challenges but also the experiential gains for churches and congregations were highlighted. Creative approaches to diaconal involvement of people living in a diaspora situation help to meet these identities, but at the same time address the needs. Neighborhood work and close networking with local organizations and institutions is helpful in opening up employment and engagement options (need a). This diaconal line is supported by personal attention to the “first home”, language and culture. Contacts to the social leadership elites there play a role (need b.). Planning for the future is made possible by integration into the community structure and the linked committees. Independent tasks for the people from the diaspora are the highlight of Christian activity. The language and culture of the “new homeland” is always to be understood as a foundation for any togetherness. Bible translation as an ecclesiastical task forms a transcultural connection between the cultural circles involved and can serve to build bridges in the ecclesiastical sphere. The Word of God as a center for believers of different cultures is a characteristic of the global church, since the same revelation is now available in the respective mother tongue.
 Financial and time limits currently provide the framework; unfortunately, environmentally protective, energy-efficient and sustainable reasons play a marginal role. In the future, the decline of fossil fuels will significantly influence mobility.
 Bengio, Ofra & Maddy-Weitzman Bruce 2013. Mobilised diasporas: Kurdish and Berber movements in comparative perspective. Kurdish Studies 1/1, October, 65-90. Online: URL: http://metapress.com/content/751148011116366k/fulltext.pdf [PDF-File] [accessed 2016-05-04].
 Hunter, Erica C. D. 2014. Coping in Kurdistan: The Christian Diaspora, in Omarkhali, Khanna (ed.): Religious Minorities in Kurdistan: Beyond the Mainstream, 321-337. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Roam, Caitlin 2015. One Method Does Not Fit All: Case Studies of the Muslim Diaspora. EMQ 51/1, 20-28. Wheaton: Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). Also Online: URL: http://www.emqonline.com/node/3207 [accessed 2016-04-20]. Rynkiewich, Michael A. Rynkiewich 2013. Mission in “the Present Time”: What about the People in Diaspora? Paper presented to the International Society for Frontier Missiology on September 13, 2013 (Plano, TX). IJFM 30/3, 103-114. [PDF document]. Holter, Knut 2014. My father was a migrant Aramean: Old Testament motifs for a Theology of Migration, in Im, Chandler H. & Yong, Amos (eds.): Global Diasporas and Mission, 57-70. Oxford: Regnum Books International. Also Online: URL: http://www.ocms.ac.uk/regnum/downloads/-Global_Diasporas_and_¬¬Mission.¬pdf [accessed 2021-03-20].
 Boyarin, Daniel & Boyarin, Jonathan 2005. Diaspora: Generation and the Ground of Jewish Identity, in Braziel, Evans Jana & Mannur, Anita (eds.): Theorizing Diaspora, 85-118. Oxford: Blackwell.
 Manalansan, Martin F. IV 2005. In the Shadows of Stonewall: Examining Gay Transnational Politics and the Diasporic Dilemma, in Braziel, Evans Jana & Mannur, Anita (eds.): Theorizing Diaspora, 207-230. Oxford: Blackwell. Gilroy, Paul 2005. The Black Atlantic as a Counterculture of Modernity, in Braziel, Evans Jana & Mannur, Anita (eds.): Theorizing Diaspora, 49-80. Oxford: Blackwell.
 Langer, Robert 2008. Alevitische Rituale, in Sökefeld, Martin (Hg.): Aleviten in Deutschland: Identitätsprozesse einer Religionsgemeinschaft in der Diaspora, 65-108. Bielefeld: Transcript.
 An estimated 5.45 million Germans alone immigrated in the years 1821-1912 (Naumann 1916:125-130). Naumann, Friedrich 1916. American Neutrality, in Naumann, Friedrich (ed.): Die Hilfe. Wochenschrift für Politik, Literatur und Kunst 22nd Jg, 125-130. Berlin-Schöneberg.
 Hanciles, Jehu J. 2008. Migration and Mission: The Religious Significance of the North-South Divide, in Walls, Andrew F. & Ross, Cathy (eds.): Mission in the Twenty-Fist Century, 118-129. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.
 As a proposal for the misnomer of the Year 2015, the term “refugee crisis”, although often adopted carelessly, makes us think. After all, it is not about a crisis that comes from refugees, but about a relief effort to people who have lost their homes. http://www.shz.de/deutschland-welt/panorama/unwort-des-jahres-fluechtlin… [accessed 2021-03-23].
 Wan, Enoch 2012. The Phenomenon of Diaspora: Missiological Implications for Christian Missions. Diaspora Study. Online: URL:www.GlobalMissiology.org [accessed 2021-05-13].
 The Chinese workers on the east-west and west-east routes of the North American railroad of the 19th century, who later settled in the newly developed cities, can be regarded as impressive examples. The modern Palestinian camps in Jordan, which have emerged since the 1940s and have been instrumentalized as a political issue by Arab states, also belong to this group. Sociologically interesting is the post-World War II status of the Danish minority in northern Germany.
 Hiebert, Paul G. & Hiebert Meneses, Eloise 1995. Incarnational Ministry: Planting churches in Band, Tribal, Peasant, and Urban Societies. Grand Rapids: Baker.
 Bruinessen, Martin M. van 1999. The Kurds in Movement: Migrations, mobilisations, communications and the globalisation of the Kurdish question. Working Paper 14. Islamic Area Studies Project. Tokyo, Japan.
 The Turkish Alevis, consisting of Kurds, Zaza and Turks, should be mentioned here (see FN 5 above Langer 2008). The Armenian and Aramaic migration movements since 1915, as well as the Yazidis, should also be mentioned. Maisel, Sebastian 2014. One Community, Two Identities: Syria’s Yezidis and the Struggle of a Minority Group to Fit in, in Omarkhali, Khanna (ed.): Religious Minorities in Kurdistan: Beyond the Mainstream, 79-96. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
 Salzborn, Samuel 2000. Grenzenlose Heimat. Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft der Vertriebenenverbände. Berlin: Elefanten Press.
 Jürgs, Michael 2014. Sklavenmarkt Europa. Das Milliardengeschäft mit der Ware Mensch. München: Bertelsmann.
 Unanimously, the gap between rich and poor is seen as the cause of the crime described here. The latest example is the “slut hunting”, a kind of flash mob for the sexual harassment of women in public, which has been known since the uprising at Tariq Square in Egypt. It is exercised in Europe with the right to prey on “rich Westerners,” as happened in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2015 (this is only part of the rationale). Other forms are to be found in the targeted gang burglary crime in which buses of men are carted in from “poor” Balkan countries, who break into residential areas right next to the highway and then immediately leave again for their countries with the stolen goods.
 The term “microculture” replaces the discriminatory term “subculture”, which suggests a subordinate unit. Microcultures are often units of equal rank.
 Here, the accusation of “mission” is worth mentioning, as it is often played out in Turkey. Although the Turkish term “misyon” is used secularly in the sense of “mission, order, contract” (e.g., the “misyon” of a university), a second meaning, this time religious, has developed in the sense of Christian-Western poaching by Islam. This is used by Sunni religious and political Turkish circles to create anti-Western and anti-Christian sentiment (see internal annual report of Evangelical Christians in Turkey).
 These are, moreover, the characteristics of ethnic units in general. A common language, a common origin (traditions, myths) and a local assignment of what is perceived as home.
 These include, among other things, language instruction, care for the disabled (care instructions, manners), treatment of drug addiction, gender issues, questions about inbreeding, and education about contraception and abortion.
 Boz, Tuba & Bouma, Gary 2012. Identity construction: A comparison between Turkish Muslims in Australia and Germany. Epiphany 5/1, 95-112. Also Online: http://epiphany.ius.edu.ba/index.php/epiphany/article/download/45/46 [PDF-Datei] [Stand 2016-05-10].
 http://www.menschenrechtserklaerung.de [accessed 2021-05-24].
 It is important to note that violations of residence law are only possible by non-Germans.
 An important moment in this discussion is played by the decision made after the meeting of the elders and apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 15:23-29, Gal 2:10-21). The tension between Jewish Old Testament law and New Testament faith, and between Jewish ethnicity and non-Jewish peoples, becomes clear here. “Gentiles,” “Romans,” “Jewish citizens,” and in Acts 2:9-11 also all major ethnic groups known at the time are mentioned in the New Testament.
 The order given here follows the observed reasons for global migration, but may well be different for an individual country or situation. A final determination is not possible, as the motivations and reasons for migration overlap.
 So-called “sheikhs,” “pashas,” “chieftains” or “saints” can attain their position through inheritance, but also through special merits (combat leadership, miracles, wisdom). They are assisted by religious, political and economic helpers who lead smaller social or local units (extended families, villages, sects). The division of labor of social constructs has been known since ancient times (e.g., People of Israel Num 11:16-17). In particular, military, medical, and administrative units can be identified (shamans, priests, doctors, village heads, commanders). E.g. Syrian Turkic Armenian Yezidis in Kreyenbroek, Ph. & Rashow, Kh. J. 2005. God and Sheikh Adi are perfect: Sacred Poems and Religious Narratives from the Yezidi Tradition. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz, Introduction. S. a. Maisel, Sebastian 2014 above.