Strangers and Aliens

In the wake of the Paris attacks last week, a majority of US governors have stated they will not permit the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their respective states. Several 2016 presidential hopefuls propose barring all Syrian immigrants or selectively admitting only Christian refugees.

It may seem odd that descendants of immigrants and refugees should so forcefully oppose welcoming immigrants and refugees, but here, too, there is nothing new under the sun.

The Bible, however, is rather clear on the matter: welcome the stranger, for you were once strangers yourself.

The second century Letter to Diognetus claims that Christians live in many parts of the world, but always as aliens, “only passing through.”

This history is not lost on many Christian groups, and some have spoken out, such as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the evangelical aid organization, World Relief.You may be aware of others.

You may also read the EP pamphlet by Craig Wong on “How the Lord’s Supper Changes the Immigration Conversation.”

We hope these resources will be helpful as you and your church home discern a faithful response to these events.

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