Christians need to be clear about the Bible's teaching about caring for the poor and for refugees. This can help to motivate us and inform our response.
When seeking support from politicians and members of the public, facts and arguments must be presented which do not require belief in the Bible or in any religious tradition. The faith basis and motivation of religious people and groups should not be hidden, but it cannnot be pesented as a reason why others who do not share the same faith position should choose to help.
From Dr Knut Heim of Trinity College.
The core function of the academic work undertaken by Dr Heim and his colleagues is to change the political agenda by influencing public opinion.
Refugees offer our country a huge asset – people with a rich heritage a wide variety of knowledge, skills and experience and a strong commitment to work and contribute to others.
Almost all of the key personalities in the Bible have been refugees or immigrants, including Jesus Christ.
Dr Heim is writing an academic book (expected to be around 250 pages) to explore this subject more fully.
Trinity College and the Baptist College are planning to bring together resources to provide a deeper theological understanding of the subject. Last Thursday they presented three technical papers, and they plan to produce a website. They will be producing robust arguments that can be used in public debate and private conversations.
Their contribution should support the ‘real work’, actually helping refugees and asylum seekers, by persuading people in this country that we must respond to the needs of the people who have lost their homes.