Reflections

In June we marked Refugee Week (18th-24th). Refugees have been a part of British culture for centuries. Sir Alec Issigonis, inventor of the Mini was a refugee. So was Freddie Mercury, Sir George Solti, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. The list is huge.

Yet in the twenty-first century migration is mostly seen as a problem. At present in excess of 65 million people across the world have been forced to leave their homes. It has clearly caused tension at borders.

The challenge for Christians is how we respond to it. In scripture there are many passages to guide us. Exodus tells us You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. (22:21) but the reason why refugees get such a lot of attention in the bible is not because they need preferential treatment but because the refugee is far more likely to suffer harsh and unjust treatment.

In Northern France right now there are hundreds of migrant people sleeping rough outside. Routinely they have their phones and possessions taken by the police to discourage them. They cannot go back. They cannot go forward. They are trapped and brutalised. Refugees seek new hope but they experience violence, hatred, contempt and condemnation. For some people they become sub-human.

The plight of humanity – the difficulties in the world – are shared between all people. This is the case no matter what our background is, income level, or race. We are equal before the eyes of God (Galatians 3:28;Colossians 3:11).

We are all in desperate need of God’s justice in our world. It is the best thing for all of us.

No matter how we welcome the refugee and immigrant—no matter how we choose precisely to be hospitable and loving—we must acknowledge that the Christian response is love.

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Chris