At Creating A Road Home, we talk a lot about refugees. In fact, we began our international ministry working with refugees living in Greece. We were excited to commemorate World Refugee Day this past Monday, but refugees are not just a group to talk about for a day. A dedicated day or a hashtag won’t solve the refugee crisis – but it might get us talking.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has recently estimated that over 65 million people are refugees, asylees, or internally displaced as of the end of 2015. This is the highest level of displaced people in history. Over half of this total is comprised of people from just 3 countries: Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Yet, despite the alarming crisis, xenophobic and Islamophobic sentiments seem to be increasingly prevalent. After the mass shooting in Orlando, many were quick to blame Islam for the tragedy. Rarely does a day go by without a news headline featuring a politician’s fear of accepting Muslim refugees into the United States.
The other week at an annual convention, the Southern Baptist Church adopted a new refugee resolution. In recognition of the conflict, persecution, and oppression that has ignited the current refugee crisis, the SBC affirmed that Scripture “calls for and expects God’s people to minister to the sojourner,” and therefore the Church must “welcome and adopt refugees into their churches and homes as a means to demonstrate to the nations that our God longs for every tribe, tongue, and nation to be welcomed at His throne.”
We hope this is one step in many on behalf of Christians around the world to rise up and love refugees. “Do not deny justice to a foreigner or fatherless child, and do not take a widow’s garment as security. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I am commanding you to do this.”