The Narrative of Fear Surrounding Refugees: Preparing Ourselves for the Conversation:
If we are pro-life, we are pro-refugee.
In this country fear has become a defining narrative, even among Evangelicals. It comes in many forms: fear of unemployment, fear of the unknown, fear of the infringement of rights—all concerning. But one in particular—fear of terrorism—has caused a unique problem when it comes to community and love of neighbor.
This fear has played a significant role in how we view ‘the other.’ Our fear of terrorism, and often of Muslims in general, has been perpetuated and exacerbated by the recent election. This includes the narrative of the incoming President-elect’s campaign, and even now, his appointment of several people to key positions of leadership.
A year ago, World Relief launched it’s ‘We Welcome Refugees’ campaign. A year ago, the Billy Graham Center hosted the GC2 Refugee Leadership Meeting and Summit. A year ago, caring for refugees was a key value for many Evangelicals.
And yet, less than 365 days later, 81% of White Evangelicals voted for a candidate who often advocated the rejection of refugees in favor of safety and consistency. And many people responded by listening to their fears.
But at the core of who we are as followers of Christ is a commitment to care for the vulnerable, the marginalized, the abused, the wanderer. It’s Advent and we look back to the time thousands of years ago when a husband and wife couldn’t find a welcome home to stay. Today, millions of people are in a similar position, having had to flee home, safety, family, and livelihood due to violence or poverty.
What is an Evangelical to do? We are to hold to the critical pro-life issues that we have always held to. And we must remind ourselves that being pro-life is about all of life from conception …
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