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Now is the time to respond and reclaim the Christian principle of hospitality

By 15th June 2022No Comments

Many of us have been watching the news with baited breath in the last few days as the first plane of asylum seekers due to be deported to Rwanda was set to take off on Tuesday 14th June. We are pleased that the plane did not take off last night, as planned due to intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) right in the last hour. However, the fight for justice does not end here and we recognise that there is still a long way to go, to show our communities and our politicians how important welcoming those seeking refuge is to our Christian faith. We echo the joint statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury that “our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries.”

Now is the time to respond. Now is the time to change our priorities in our churches, to become communities who intentionally and proactively say WELCOME to new arrivals in our local area and daily practice the hospitality and welcome that Jesus teaches.

The concerns surrounding the issue of stopping people from making dangerous routes to the UK are big ones, and there are no easy answers. However increasingly we, at Welcome Churches, and other Christian leaders, churches and refugee organisations have condemned the government’s actions of planning to send people who have paid ‘people smugglers’ to come to the UK to Rwanda, to seek asylum there instead. The Rwanda plan is flawed, as we saw yesterday, over 250 people, including women and children, arrived in this country on small boats across the channel. It will lead to more deaths and tragedy, not fewer. 

As the Church, it is time to raise our voices, be proactive and show how we are willing to welcome the stranger. It is our time to call out for justice and let it roll on like a river (Amos 5:24). There are many things you can do right now, to support the plight of refugees.

  • Preach: Refugee Week is 20th-26th June with World Refugee Day on 20th June and Refugee Sunday on 26th June. This is the time to preach on the need to WELCOME. Now is the time to tell your congregations why they should welcome. 
  • Share: Take 5-10 minutes to share our Refugee Sunday resources in your small groups and services in the next few weeks to raise awareness of refugees and the impact the church is having by welcoming them.
  • Join: Become part of the Welcome Network showing your church’s commitment to welcome any seeking refuge in the UK and be part of our map.

Let us continue to pray for the current situation, and for the mental health of the asylum seekers who were involved in the Rwanda deportation. We pray for wisdom, grace and mercy in our asylum system. Get in touch with us if you need any support on how your church can respond right now.

Register for Refugee Sunday Resources NOW!

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