God and Refugees: Foundations for Hope

Does God care for refugees and those who have been displaced? Is there a way for the church to respond to the needs of non-Christian refugees? These are questions that are provoking intense discussions in many churches in the western world. The following paper presented at a recently held Refugee Consultation addresses some of these issues.

God and Refugees: Foundations for Hope. The Church Responding to Refugees.

The refugee crisis engulfing the world right now is not a new phenomenon. It is only the latest wave of refugees who are fleeing conflict, persecution, destruction of their homes and livelihoods, and death. Displacement as a result of war and natural disasters has a long history through the ages. While there are legal difference between refugees and migrants, in reality there are very few differences because people move when they are unable to continue living and supporting their families where they are.

The level of human suffering of these waves of refugees requires the Church and Christians to understand God’s perspective on refugees. Yet how the church demonstrates the reality and compassion of Christ to those displaced will vary from context to context. While the majority of the refugees are comparatively poor, their needs are different from those who live in poverty, because refugees have lost their homes and their identity. Princeton theologian Daniel Migliore writes, “Confession of Jesus Christ takes place in particular historical and cultural contexts. Our response to the questions of who we say Jesus Christ is and how he helps us is shaped in important ways by the particular context in which these questions arise”.[1] This paper will explore the biblical, theological and missiological foundations, as well as some observations from current missions for this discussion. While most of what will be discussed is common for all refugees, there are some aspects that are specific to ministering to Muslim refugees.

To read the rest of the paper click here. God and Refugees – Foundations for Hope

[1] Daniel Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (Grand Rapid, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004).

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