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Student Christian Movements
(SCM) in Asia-PacificAsia-Pacific on the world map

 

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:
SCM Aotearoa logo Australia SCM logo Bangladesh SCM logo   Hong Kong SCM logo SCM India logo
Aotearoa Australia Bangladesh Cambodia Hong Kong India
Indonesia SCM logo Japan Student YMCA logo Korea SCF logo Myanmar SCM logo Nepal SCM logo  
Indonesia Japan Korea Myanmar Nepal Pakistan
SCM Philippines logo SCM Singapore logo SCM Sri Lanka logo   Thailand SCM logo  
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:

  1. Aotearoa/New Zealand: Student Christian Movement Aotearoa (SCMA)
  2. Australia: Australian Student Christian Movement (ASCM)
  3. Bangladesh: Bangladesh Student Christian Movement
  4. Cambodia: Cambodia Student Christian Movement (CSCM)
  5. Hong Kong: Hong Kong SCM
  6. India: Student Christian Movement India (SCMI)
  7. Indonesia: Indonesia Student Christian Movement
    Gerakan Mahaiswa Kristen Indonesia (GMKI)
  8. Japan: Japan Student YMCA
  9. Korea: Korea Student Christian Federation (KSCF)
  10. Myanmar: Myanmar Student Christian Movement
  11. Nepal: Nepal Student Christian Movement (NSCM)
  12. Pakistan: Student Christian Movement of Pakistan
  13. Philippines: Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP)
  14. Singapore: Student Christian Movement Singapore
  15. Sri Lanka: Student Christian Movement Sri Lanka (SCM SL)
  16. Taiwan: Taiwan Student Christian Movement (TSCM)
  17. Thailand: Thailand Student Christian Movement
  18. Timor Leste: Movimento Estudante Cristao Timor Leste (SCM TL)

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.