All member countries of the AP Region originally belonged to the International English Language Group, however, by the early 1980's it became apparent that this area would become strong enough in Cursillo to stand alone. It was not until 1990 that the Asia Pacific Group was recognized by the OMCC as the 4th International Group member.
Following the first Cursillo held in the United States in 1957 talks and literature were translated into English by the Americans. This led to the rapid introduction of the Movement throughout the English speaking world and into Asia and the Pacific region.
In 1963 the USA brought the Cursillo Movement to the Philippines and it was Filipino Cursillistas who played a very significant role in the spread of the movement into countries throughout the Pacific. There are many hundreds of thousands of Filipino cursillistas and AP has been trying to initiate contact, though lack of email facilities is making this very difficult.
It was also in 1963 Cursillo was first reported amongst the Spanish community in New South Wales, Australia. Several Spanish speaking migrants who had been involved in the Cursillo Movement before migrating to Australia, conducted weekends for men and women in 1963 and 1964. However the USA provided a small team and were joined by Spanish Cursillistas who could speak English to conduct the first English speaking weekend in 1965. Australia is a vast country and covers some 7,700,000 sq kilometres. Population is 20,000,000. 14 of the 28 diocese have an active Cursillo Movement, and in the 42 years since the first English speaking weekends, 18,000 have experienced Cursillo.
The USA also brought Cursillo to Sri Lanka in 1964. Today the movement is active in 4 diocese, and there are approx 5,000 Cursillistas.
Hawaii, although part of the United States, has always been a member of the Asia Pacific Group as it is situated on the Pacific Rim. The CM in Hawaii began in 1965 when a few men were sent, with approval of the Bishop, to California to make a Cursillo. These were the people who brought Cursillo to Hawaii.
In 1965 Cursillo was introduced into Vietnam by a group of Filipino Cursillistas who served in the allied forces in South Vietnam. The first few Cursillos' were given in English to the Vietnamese government officials and military personnel in Saigon and the movement quickly spread throughout South Vietnam until 1975 when the communists took over South Vietnam. Since 1975 many Cursillistas were amongst the refugees who settled in different countries throughout the world. Vietnam in Diaspora established a Cursillo Movement in Canada 1977, America 1981, Australia 1992, and France 1993. Vietnam in the Diaspora was granted official membership of the Asia Pacific Group in 1992 and there is approx 10,000 Vietnam in Diaspora members.
In 1967 the CM was introduced into Korea by Filipino Cursillistas. 14 of them flew to Seoul in May, and conducted the first weekend in English. Within 3 years CM had spread out across the country. In the 40 years since the start of CM in Korea there have been 150,000 brothers and sisters who have made their Cursillos. Men's and women's weekends are held every weekend of the year.
1968 the first weekends were held in Taiwan and were introduced by a team of Filipino Cursillistas. There have been 14,000 who have made their Cursillo over the 40 years.
Also in 1968, the first Cursillo weekends were held in Japan, with a team from the USA. This was the first Cursillo in the world given through interpreters because neither the priest nor the team knew Japanese.
Cursillo weekends were also held in Thailand and on Guam for the first time in 1968. Details of their Cursillo history is not available.
The movement was established in Singapore in 1971 and in 1988 a team of Cursillistas from Australia traveled to Singapore in an effort to re-establish the movement, however there were many difficulties and little is known of what has happened to the Singapore movement at this time.
A group of Filipino and Australian workers who were Cursillistas met regularly to hold reunions and Ultreyas. Through sharing and prayer, they planned to spread the movement to the people of the Northern Mariana Islands. A group from Guam visited Saipan to explore the possibility of extending the movement in the CNMI. Saipan sent 4 men and 4 women to Guam to attend a Cursillo weekend in October 1992. The first Cursillo weekends were held in Saipan in 1993 and to this time 270 have experienced Cursillo.
After many years of perseverance and attempts to establish the movement in New Zealand, the Archbishop of Auckland gave his approval and the first men's and women's weekends were held in 2003. Prior to this 3 New Zealanders from 2 different diocese came to Australia to experience their 3 days. These Cursillistas then set about doing the groundwork and a team from different diocese within Australia gave the first weekends. New Zealand does not as yet have a National Secretariat.
In 1993 leaders from Korea came to Sydney, Australia to conduct Korean speaking men's and women's 3 days, and in June 2007 the Oceania Korean Cursillo Movement (in Australia) became a member of the Asia Pacific Group.
The US Military bases of Okinawa and Korea also have Cursillo Movements and are members of the Asia Pacific Group. India has also been a member of the Group, but contact has been lost and no details regarding history are available. Cursllistas from Taiwan have taken Chinese speaking Cursillo to the United States and weekends have been conducted in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In 2009 Australian men and women teams held the first Cursillos in American Samoa.
As can be seen by our history, Asia Pacific Group continues to grow and expand as we each live the Gospel and spread God's love to the world.