March 27, 2015 Amy Reasoner

Can Someone Please Explain This Land Mass?!

Eurasia. How do you define it? In elementary school, we’re told, “It’s Europe and Asia.” Those of us who memorized seven continents never pressed the issue. But in high school history classes, subjects like world wars and the redrawing of countries came up, and we learned that geographical boundaries don’t always equate with cultural ones. Hard answers on where continent meets continent and when traditions are classified as “western European,” “eastern European,” or “Asian”—well, that’s pretty much why the topic of “Eurasia” doesn’t surface much in Geography bees.

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Do a Google search of “What is Eurasia?” and you’ll garner a variety of answers:

  • “Eurasia can be described as a region, that most flexible, indeed indefinite designation of place.” (Try not to smile when you read that.)
  • “Eurasia can be considered a continent that sits on the Eurasian Plate.”
  • “The concepts of Europe and Asia as distinct continents date back to antiquity and their borders are geologically arbitrary, with the Ural and Caucasus mountain ranges being the main delimiters between the two.
  • “The division between Europe and Asia is a historical and cultural construct, with no clear physical separation between them.”

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I think we get the picture: there are multiple pictures.

 

So, what constitutes it? Terrain? People groups? Politics? Longitude?

 

The clear-cut answer is that there won’t ever be one.

 

Several explanations are legitimate, and Eurasia Community obliges you to read on for our definition: thoughtfully-crafted and strategically delineated, our metaphorical lines are drawn to encompass a region in which most of the unreached people groups of the world dwell.

 

[The following is an excerpt from Eurasia’s Big Dream magazine, under the heading “What is Eurasia?”]

Eurasia Map

The Eurasia region of Assemblies of God World Missions is made up of 44 countries and territories organized into six areas: Central Eurasia, Eurasia Northwest, India, the Middle East and North Africa, Russia and Belarus, and Southern Asia. But Eurasia is so much more than a map.

 

Let’s start with geography. Eurasia stretches 10,000 miles across parts of three continents, from Morocco in the west to the Bering Sea in the east. It’s a landmass six times the size of the United States, bracketed by the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Indian oceans. The mountains, deserts, jungles, tundra, and seas only begin to describe the diversity of this region.

What about history? Eurasia is the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of the most influential faiths in the world. But many of the troubles of past generations have made their way into the Eurasia of the 21st century: war, political turmoil, religious tensions, corruption, conflict over resources.

 

Then there’re the people, more than 2.4 billion souls created by a God who loves each one. Eurasia is home to almost 7,000 ethnolinguistic groups and thousands of languages and dialects. These people lives under kings, sultans, ballot-box stuffers, and sometimes, duly-elected leaders.

 

And most of them have never even heard of Jesus, the only name that leads to salvation. Eurasia is home to 4,490 unreached people groups made of 1.96 billion people. The individuals in this least-reached, most-neglected region of the world are not only lost, they’re hopelessly lost—unless we go.

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