There is growing backlash to the international push for multiculturalism over the past two decades resulting in an overwhelming emphasis on nationalism. Brexit, the U.S. election, and both China and India’s focus on nationalism are examples. How long this shift will continue is not clear, but it has implications for many arenas of students’ lives and how we minister to them.
With China’s new non-governmental organization (NGO) law that went into effect last year and the new religious practices law set to go into effect in February 2018, China is making clear their concern about the impact of Western influences in their culture, and they are doing something about it. In addition, they are taking steps to minimize the threat of Islamic influences in the western part of China (affecting Hui and Uighur people groups particularly). Westerners in China who want to share their faith in Christ are being asked to leave—regardless of their legitimate reason for being in China. As the economic expansion rate of the past decade slows, it will be interesting to see the effects on students coming to the U.S. to study.
In similar fashion, India over the last two years required some 40,000 Western financed NGOs to leave India. Many were Christian groups seeking to help the poorer classes. Recently, some Indian leaders announced that India was no place for Christianity (and only for Hinduism). The percentage of international students from India who what to study in the U.S. continues to increase.
Other countries are struggling with refugee crises and economic woes. These and other factors are impacting the number of international students coming from their countries to the U.S.
Should we be worried with all the changes outside of our control? I think not. It is the Lord who raises up kings and takes them down (Dan 2:21). The Lord expands the nations and causes them to dwindle (Job 12:23). Like Archippus was told in
Col 4:17, we need to simply fulfill the ministry that the Lord gave to us—to serve and disciple the students the Lord sends to us.
Principles cited in this blog: Our world is changing fast; many of the changes are nationalistic which could impact students coming here and the openness of those cultures to outside influence; we are not worried because we are focused on what the Lord has given us to do
Application for ISI ministry: Keep aware of international changes in cultures and nations, but stay focused on what the Lord has given us to do because the nations are his
Next blog topic: Focus on China
Doug Shaw with Derrah Jackson
 Multiculturalism—the presence of, or support for the presence of, several distinct cultural or ethnic groups within a society.