A Stranger Kind of Love: Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis

Perhaps you might have some time to read through my recent article, published in Mosaic?

“We are facing the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Above all, this is not just a crisis of numbers; it is also a crisis of solidarity.” – Ban Ki Moon, former United Nations Secretary General (Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2015)

We are living in an unprecedented period of global displacement – the highest level on record, according to the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) – with over 65 million people around the world who have been forced from home. That’s a number almost double Canada’s entire population!

Canada has responded to the international crisis by receiving more refugees than in recent years, including resettling 32,000 people from Syria. Christian congregations are welcoming newcomers with assistance in housing and transition to a new culture. Christian refugee organizations such as Kinbrace, birthed out of Grandview Calvary Baptist in Vancouver, and Matthew House in Toronto (see page xxx) are key contributors nationally in refugee support.

At the same time, there are misgivings and concerns within our country. We can be swayed by fear-producing rhetoric – ‘We are being swamped by refugees!’ ‘Some may be terrorists!’ We would do well to remember that most refugees are here because they are fleeing persecution, conflict, and possibly death. Most would return to their homeland in a heartbeat, if they could. Refugees are here because they are desperate. They have lost virtually everything and now they are seeking our hospitality. Each one is precious in God’s sight – each has a name, a history, and hope for a better future.

So, how does the Bible speak to this present crisis? And what might this mean for worshipping communities today?

READ MORE, PAGES 6-9 . . .

 

About Mark Glanville

Mark Glanville is a pastor-scholar who ministers in a missional urban community, Grandview Church, Vancouver, and is Professor of Old Testament and congregational studies at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix (missionaltraining.org). Mark's research focusses upon the Pentateuch, biblical ethics, and mission. Mark has authored an introductory book on Exodus (Lexham, forthcoming), numerous refereed articles and chapters on the Pentateuch, mission, and refugee related issues, as well as numerous popular articles. Mark is presently co-authoring a book, "Providing Refuge: A Missional and Political Theology." Mark is regularly called upon to speak on in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. His previous career was as a jazz pianist in Sydney, Australia (Chick Corea and Wynton Kelly are his musical heroes).
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