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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Diaspora-διασπορά



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea recently released the statistical number of nationals residing in foreign countries for predicting the numbers of voters of  its upcoming general election.

According to this report, a total number of S. Koreans staying abroad is 3,042,315 and 6,833,973 including ethnic Koreans who acquired the citizenship of residing countries.

It’s a great ratio when compared with its total population of 50 million.

They can be called ‘Diaspora’ by definition.

Definiton

A diaspora (from Greek διασπορά, “scattering, dispersion”) is “the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland” or "people dispersed by whatever cause(immigration, business, study, political asylum etc.) to more than one location”, or “people settled far from their ancestral homelands”

The term derives from the verb διασπείρω (diaspeirō), “I scatter”, “I spread about” and that form διά (dia), “between, through, across” + the verb σπείρω (speirō), “I sow, I scatter”.

After the Bible's translation into Greek, the word ‘diaspora then was used to refer to the population of Jews exiled from Israel in 587 B.C. by the Babylonians, and from Judea in 70 A.D. by the Roman Empire.


Diaspora in the New Testament Bible

We read in, 1 Peter 1:1-2;

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”
 

Corresponding Greek text:

Πέτρος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις διασπορᾶς Πόντου, Γαλατίας, Καππαδοκίας, Ἀσίας καὶ Βιθυνίας,

This letter is addressed to believers in general, who are strangers in every city or country where they live, and are scattered through the nations. These are to ascribe their salvation to the electing love of the Father, the redemption of the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Ghost.

Dear readers, you may be a ‘Diaspora.’ I am too. I have been living in the U.S. for 30 years now.

But remember this truth always. You have a country to return on earth.  What is more important, you have a home in Heaven to spend eternity, as Paul tells in Philippians 3:20;

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Take heart amidst the hardships you may undergo while residing as strangers and scattered through the foreign lands you stay.

The Lord promised to be with you to the end of this world age! Amen.

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