The diverse, pluralistic cultures and quest for knowledge and truth has always inspired the birth of new movements in Asia. Since eighteen seventies such a rich context of Asia paved way for the emergence of Student Christian Associations which was in a way preparation for world-wide federation of autonomous and self-determining ecumenical student movements. In this process students and faculty in academic community pioneered modern missionary and ecumenical movement which gave birth to Student Christian Movement (SCM) in Asia.
|Countries with WSCF Asia-Pacific Region member and contact movements include:|
|Philippines||Singapore||Sri Lanka||Taiwan||Thailand||Timor Leste|
In fact, SCM roots were emerged out of a genuine quest and a divine vision of few dedicated university students who started World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) which became a federation of national SCMs on 17 August 1895, in the ancient royal castle of Vadstena, Sweden. J. R. Mott (USA) and Karl Fries (Sweden) were the key founding members of WSCF with the vision and mission of “the evangelisation of the world in this generation”. Mott travelled throughout Asia subsequent two decades to start SCMs. Much of the subsequent work of establishing and liking SCMs was done with the assistance of Young Men’s Christian Association.
During 1950’s the Student Christian Movement was split between a group emphasising personal salvation and evangelism and one which laid a stronger emphasis on a social gospel and the openness of ecumenism. This caused a marked decline in membership in many movements. The movement in many countries committed to prepare ecumenical leadership through empowerment for the transformation of the society. In this process some SCMs took even radical approach and others were influenced by liberation, feminist, ecological and contextual theologies.
Though each national movement has its own aims, they could be summarised as following:
The history of SCM in Asia is unfinished without mentioning of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific who became the integral part of Asia for various reasons. Thus at present there are eighteen National Student Christian Movements:
Undivided India, Japan, Myanmar, China, Australia and New Zealand are the oldest movements and Indonesia, India and Myanmar are the largest in the region. Movements in China, Fiji, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea are not active.
At the threshold of third millennium the SCM in Asia-Pacific is recommitted to engage in Justice Peace and Creation. For this reason most of the movements are consolidated during last quarter of this century. Moreover SCMs have been enrolling over 90,000 every year in Asia-Pacific and continuously stood as the largest SCM in the World.