The above link offers a balanced and objective perspective of the migrant situation in Europe. History will say something of us about how we responded. What will it say? Some see the current number of migrants as a threat, while others believe migrants should be welcomed whatever the cost. Public opinion is strongly shaped by the way this crisis is reported in the newspapers. Politicians have not clarified the distinctions between different types of migrants. People arriving in Europe are bot refugees and other types of migrants like students, economic migrants and family members. There will be some using this crisis as a potential ‘Trojan horse’ to get into other countries.
But these different types of migrants’ needs differ. This simply has not been discussed at all. For the most part it has been a response of fear out of concern for how it will effect our own country. However, refusing or accepting people into your country affects more than just the migrants. For example, large businesses obtain a cheap source of labour that leads to economic growth. But there also can be a cost to housing, people’s wages, children’s places in school and health facilities to name just a few. Rapid migration can affect social cohesion and perceptions of security.
Nations are not pure in ethnicity, it is a myth to think so. The reality is that modern nations are cultural hybrids which in turn is organic to historical factors such as empire and colonialism or post colonialism since the Second World War. There is a definite legitimate argument that the West is complicit with this migration crisis because of its involvement in the destabilising of the Middle East, particularly through the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. People so easily forget such monumental events like the invasion of a country on the basis of a lie, which was basically about the maintaining of the petrodollar and western imperialism. So to respond with xenophobia to people who have been unimaginably traumatised through war, persecution and famine say’s something about western ‘civilisation’. It say’s something fundamentally warped about Western culture’s intrinsic belief about what it means to be human.
There are different views of Globalism like anything, but it hard to totally dismiss how fragmenting and destabilising it has been to the nation state. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I agree with the view that individual Christians and Churches can play a vital role in this refugee crisis. We can urge politicians to make peace building a top priority and provide humanitarian aid to neighbouring countries that shelter most refugees.
According to the UN there are 65 millions refugees worldwide. 86% of these refugees are taken in by Third World developing countries. Only 5% are hosted by the world’s 5 richest countries. The UK has pledged to take 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020, but this nowhere matches the scale of the crisis. The poorest countries like Lebanon and Iraq are hosting the vast majority. Unbelievable. Iraq was decimated severely by the US and UK invasion and has arguably unleashed militant Islam and therefore is very responsible for this immigration crisis. America and Britain has a long history of collusion with radical Islam and is responsible before God, the Judge of all mankind.
Every human being deserves a safe place to call home and every human being deserves the basic necessities of life like water, food, sanitation and shelter, let alone dignity and respect. Christians can support charities working with displaced people, we can all take part in welcoming refugees in our cities and our regions. Local churches and help all categories of migrant to integrate more effectively. They can do by offering hospitality, practical help, language lessons, legal advice, refer and signpost to relevant agencies, advocacy and much more.
Through this Churches can provoke others to really think about what kind of society we want to live in. Churches can respond by being proactive and having group discussions and seminars on a biblical understanding of ‘Exile’ and what it really means to be the people of God. We can raise our voice to demand a better balance between protection against excess migration and protection for genuine refugees seeking safety. Jesus himself as soon as he was born had to flee to Egypt, as an adult the Maker of heaven and earth had no place to lay his head. He understands and he expects His people to show the most vulnerable what He is really like….