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What Does The Bible Say About Refugees

Have Mercy On Your Neighbor

Fr. James Martin: What does the Bible say about refugees, migrants and foreigners?

He asked Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

In reply Jesus said: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?

The expert in the law replied, The one who had mercy on him.Jesus told him, Go and do likewise.

Franklin Graham Said Immigration Is Not A Bible Issue Heres What The Bible Says

While many religious groups have come out against President Trumps immigration ban, some significant figures in the faith community, including Liberty Universitys Jerry Falwell Jr., have stood in support of it. Attempting to defend the ban from a religious point of view, evangelist Franklin Graham declared, Thats not a Bible issue.

He could not be more wrong.

Both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are clear and consistent when it comes to how we are to treat the stranger.;Across the books of both testaments, in narrative, law, prophecy, poetry and parable, the Bible consistently spells out that it is the responsibility of the citizen to ensure that the immigrant, the stranger, the refugee, is respected, welcomed and cared for. It is what God wants us to do, but it also recognizes that we too were immigrants and immigrants we remain. Like my forebears, I am an alien, resident with you, says Psalm 39.

For the nearly 80 percent of Americans who, according to some studies, believe the Bible to be divinely inspired, what this culturally foundational document says about immigration, foreigners and the treatment of the stranger defined in biblical terms as any person who dwells in a land without being a citizen of that land is not simply a matter of historical record; it should inform us today.

What Does The Bible Say About Pornography

The Bible isnt shy about sexuality, but it seems to steer a healthy course between the worship of sex and ignorance of it.

Although access to it may be easier than ever, porn itself is not new. It even shows up in the Bible.;

You might be surprised to learn that archaeologists have unearthed pornographic figurines from biblical times. Some of these come from the Baal cult, which for several centuries was the main rival for the hearts and minds of the ancient Israelites. In this context, much of the Old Testament calls the worshipers of Israels God to be different, to keep themselves pure from the sex-obsession of Baalism.

The Bible doesnt shy away from sexuality. It openly discusses sexual matters, describing scenes of love, lust, temptation, even sexual violence. Frankly, some parts of the Bible might be considered borderline pornographic. Yet it seems to steer a course between the worship of sex and ignorance of it.

The New Testament adds a focus on the concept of lustunhealthy desire. One apostle writes about the lust of the eyes,;and Jesus equates a lustful look with adultery. Another passage describes how unhealthy desire;gives birth to bad actions, with deadly results. This might be our closest biblical connection to the modern use of pornography. Isnt it, essentially, the cultivating of sexual desire?

For more on how the Bible can lead to a fuller life, Look Inside.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Chronological Order Of The Bible

God Calls His People To Challenge Unjust Systems

The call to stand with and care for those are marginalised, oppressed and persecuted is clear in the Scriptures and in the traditions of the faith: Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. and Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. . Since its beginning, the Christian church has sought to extend the love of God to those in need through care and service.

In word and deed, Jesus challenged the systems and structures of society that forced people to the margins of their communities. He spoke to and ate with people who had been rejected by more respectable members of society. Inspired by Jesus and the prophets, as Church we must seek to fulfil our calling to challenge societys injustice. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said that Christians shouldnt just be pulling people out of the river we should be going upstream to find out whos pushing them in. Structures and systems that keep people in situations of injustice must be changed. This is the work of advocacy.

What The Bible Says About How To Treat Refugees

The Bible Supports Helping Refugees  Here

Immigration continues to be one of the most politically polarizing issues in America. The topic of immigration and refugee policy has been a staple of recent presidential debates, and has even divided some members of the Church.

The issue of immigration reform is nuanced, and policies are often legislatively complex. But the wisdom of the Bible is both simple and timeless.

Here are 12 passages that discuss how Christians should treat immigrants, refugees and those in need of help.

Also Check: How To Interpret The Bible For Yourself

All Christians Are Called To ‘love Their Neighbour’

To understand Gods will and call on us to show compassion, Jesus explains to the Pharisees that all the law and prophets hang on the commandments to love God and love ones neighbour as oneself .; In drawing near to God we cannot leave our world and neighbour behind us because we are in communion with the God who loves our neighbour.

What Does The Bible Say About Strangers Migrants And Refugees

The Bible is basically a tapestry woven together from the stories of one gigantic migrant family. Since it was written by, for, and about strangers, migrants, and refugees, the Bible is essentially pro-immigrant. The Scriptures have a lot to say about many issues related to migration, for example, human trafficking, refugees and asylum seekers, victims of war and violence, women and children, climate change and natural disasters, walls and borders, legal and illegal immigrants, and mission.

In times like these, when anti-immigrant sentiments and racial tensions rear their ugly head, how should Christians respond? This book shows the waywith mercy and charity.

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What Does The Bible Say About Refugees

Rose and her children enjoy their first real meal in weeks at the Goboro transit center in Uganda. This hot meal was provided by World Vision for Roses family and hundreds of others on their way to more permanent shelter for refugees from South Sudan.

You wont find the term refugee in the Bible. But the Word of God has plenty to say about people called strangers and sojourners or foreigners in our translations.

Strangers and foreigners refer to anybody who was from another ethnic group but had chosen to live with the Jews in Israel no matter what category they might represent in todays terms.

For instance, the book of Ruth is about a widow from the tribe of Moab who chooses to accompany her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Israel and live there with her. In Ruth 2:10 we see her ask Boaz, in whose field she is gleaning, Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me a foreigner? She understands her status as being outside the tribe of Israel.

Sojourners are people who are temporarily living in Israel or just traveling through the country.

All Believers In Jesus Christ Belong To The Kingdom Of God

Immigration: What Does The Bible Say?

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with Gods people and also members of his household.Ephesians 2:19

This verse follows the great passage that lays out how we have been saved by faith in Jesus . In it, the terms foreigners and strangers are used as metaphors for our condition before our faith in Jesus Christ. Before we believed, we were outside the covenant and considered foreigners or strangers in Gods kingdom . But because of our faith in him, we are now part of Gods community strangers who have been welcomed in.

Read Also: What Is The Best Bible Verse

Who Is A Refugee

The definition does not include people who have had to flee because of extreme poverty, a natural disaster, or even violenceunless the violence was specifically motivated by a persons race, religion, or political opinion. This means that even though people throughout the world have well-founded fears due to gang violence and poverty, especially people from Latin American countries with extremely high homicide rates, they do not qualify for refugee status.

People who leave their homes but stay within the boundaries of their home country are known as Internally Displaced Persons.

We Will All Be Strangers Sometime

The Bible affirms strongly and clearly the obligation to treat strangers with dignity and hospitality.

In Love the Stranger, an article written for the annual meeting of the College Theological Society, biblical scholar Alice Laffey states that in the Hebrew Bible, the words gûr and gr are most often cited as referring to the stranger, though they are also translated as newcomer and alien or resident alien, respectively.

In the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, the word gr appears almost 50 times. The fifth book, Deuteronomy, specifically sets out requirements for treating the stranger not just with courtesy but also with active support.

For example, Deuteronomy states that a portion of produce should be saved by farmers every third year and given to strangers, widows and orphans. In the temple sermon attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, the Jewish people are also exhorted to not oppress the sojourner.

Within the Hebrew Bible the requirements of hospitality are sometimes presented in shocking ways, as in the story from the book of Judges where a host offers his own daughter to rapists in order to protect his guest.

Of course, the Israelites themselves were strangers during their enslavement in Egypt and captivity in Babylon.

The Hebrew Bible recognizes that every one of us will be a stranger at some point in our lives.

Read Also: Where In The Bible Does It Say Pray Without Ceasing

How Can I Talk With My Loved Ones Who Are Unsure About Refugee Resettlement

View our four-part webinar on how to talk with your loved ones about Syrian refugees and U.S. refugee resettlement. These videos have been prepared to help in conversations with loved ones at holiday gatherings, but they offer relevant information and tips on how to talk from an informed Christian perspective about refugee resettlement all year round.

The webinar addresses how to respond to these questions and statements:

Why Are There So Many Bad Feelings About The Bible

What Does the Bible Say About Refugees?

Good question. And while some have issues with what the Bible actually says, others have problems with the people who quote it.

Before we begin, please watch the video for a long-overdue apology.

Okay. So there are a lot of people out there who believe the Bible is judgmental, inconsistent, ignorant, and old-fashioned.;Their issue is with the Bible itself. ;Some of those people have read the Bible. Some havent. And some dont even want to, since some;obnoxious Bible-beater has turned them off. Their issue is with Bible;people.

Lets deal with the Bible issue first.

Can the Bible;judge us at times? Yes.;And thats not always fun. Sort of like a personal trainer pushing you to be your best self. But along with the judgment, theres a stronger message of love. The two actually go together. Is it old-fashioned? Well, its certainly old. But despite the fact that it was written by 40 or more people thousands of years ago, we still find great wisdom and fresh ideas in the Bible. But dont take our word for it. Look inside the Bible and see for yourself.

Now, to the Bible people issue.

We think theres a big difference between wielding the Bible as a sledgehammer and letting it lead us into an authentic interaction with God. Were aiming for the latter.

Whether your feelings about the Bible have been negative, positive, or apathetic, we invite you to get the whole picture by Looking Inside.

Read Also: What Bible Verse Is Love Is Patient Love Is Kind

Afghan Refugees May Come To The Us: How Will Christians Help

Shane Bennett has spent the past 30 years helping Christians learn to love Muslims and Muslims learn to love Jesus. He has worked in dozens of countries and has become friends with Muslims from England all the way east to Malaysia and many points in between.

He works for Healing Nations and lives in southern Colorado where he occasionally shares the pulpit with his generous pastor. He writes weekly at and speaks around the U.S. and beyond.

NOTE:Thank you to Shane Bennett for penning todays Daily Article. He has previously and we appreciate his knowledge and insight on reaching Muslims with the gospel.

According to the New York Times, As of September 14, about 64,000 evacuees from Afghanistan had arrived in the United States. . . . Nearly 49,000 are living on eight domestic military bases, waiting to be resettled in the United States.

By this time next year, a total of ninety-five thousand is expected.

We havent seen anything like this since the end of the Vietnam War. While government agencies work around the clock and refugee care organizations rapidly retool, many American Christians may be asking What in the world?! and How can we help?

I expect stories like Ginnys to multiply across the country in the coming weeks, in part because Americans tend toward generosity and a willingness to help. Well also see stories grow as Christians like us obey the clear teaching of Scripture for situations like this.

Lets Not Be Us Verses Them But Instead Us For Them

When I woke up this morning to my personal scripture reading in Matthew, I read of Jesus and his family fleeing a murderous oppressor and a mass genocide of babies to find refuge in near-by Egypt. Just when I thought Id take a break from obsessing over the news and current events, I realized again that this story is not a new one. In fact, its part of my own. Even our beloved Jesus and his family knew what its like to run for their lives, hoping to find safety on the other side. The life of Jesus compels me to look at my own and be willing to examine my heart in light of Gods love for all peoples.

Help us, they cry. Defend us against our enemies. Protect us from their relentless attack. Do not betray us now that we have escaped. Let our refugees stay among you. Hide them from our enemies until the terror is past. Isaiah 16:3-4

Determined to say welcome even when its uncomfortable,


Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Taking Your Own Life

Is The Bible A Fairy Tale

Some might think the stories of the Bible are magical, made-up events with little connection to historical reality. But thats not how the Bible presents itself.

It claims to be a true and trustworthy account of the way the world really is, who God really is, and how human beings can live full lives.

While fairy tales happen once upon a time in a vague neverland, the main characters of the BibleJesus, David, Moses, and Abraham are real human beings who walked the earth. You can still visit the city of Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee today.

And the rulers found throughout the Bible are not just too-good-to-be-true Prince Charmings. You can read about Herod, Pilate, Cyrus the Great, and the Pharaohs of Egypt not only in the Bible but also in history texts. The Gospel of Luke begins the Christmas story;by placing Jesuss birth during the reign of Augustus Caesar of Rome and an obscure Syrian governor named Quiriniuswhose name does indeed show up on ancient inscriptions.

Some parts of the Biblelike poetry and parablesare clearly not intended as historical, but its central story claims to be rooted in history. Unlike even the best fairy tales.

Why not join us and Look Inside;for yourself?

What Is A Stranger In The Bible

Was Jesus a Refugee? Does the Bible Teach Sanctuary Cities?

In the Bible a category of person , is roughly translated as. stranger, as in: When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong. The. stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Getting To Heaven

Foreigners Or Refugees Are Not To Be Oppressed

Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.Exodus 23:9

This is the basic rule of thumb: Dont burden foreigners. Notice that the Scripture gives Israel a reason why because they knew how it felt to be a foreigner. Israelites were to call on their empathy for refugees because they had been treated cruelly as refugees who were made into slaves in Egypt. They werent to cheat them or take advantage of them in any way.

And since we, as believers, were once strangers outside Gods kingdom, we can identify with the idea of not belonging as the reason why we treat refugees or displaced people without discrimination.


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