A refugee is someone who has been recognized as being forced to leave their country because of war or fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group of political opinion. (1951 Refugee Convention)
Jesus was a refugee
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem, a town near Jerusalem. It was their home village. The Roman leader of their region, Herod, feared a new king had been born. He ordered that all boys under two years of age be killed.
So Joseph and Mary fled with the newborn Jesus to Egypt.
Life as a refugee in those days would have been hard. Refugees were not welcomed and often had to beg for food. They often times became slaves. It’s hard to imagine that life for Jesus’ parents was in any way easy.
Jesus very explicitly told his followers to care for refugees.
In Matthew 25, Jesus gave a jolting parable. His goal was to reveal which kinds of people actually knew him. Who were his true followers? What were his criteria? Who would go to heaven and who would go to hell? Verses 41 – 45 makes it crystal clear who he did not know:
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”
Because of traumatization, loss of loved ones, hunger, disease, refugees are the single most persecuted and “least” people group as any other in the world.
According to The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world has topped 65 million.
Half of all refugees today are children.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 70.6% of the adult U.S. population identified themselves as Christians.
They Syrian Refugee Crisis Is The Biggest Humanitarian Crisis Since World War II.
The civil war in Syrian is not a religious war. It is a political struggle for leadership. Dissenters have been brutalized by Bashar al-Assad. Entire towns have been leveled.
Over 16 million Syrian citizens have been displaced from their homes. Of these, over four million are refugees who have fled to other countries.
As of October 2016, only 41 percent of registered voters said that the U.S. should feel an obligation to take in Syrian refugees.
President Trump said his Travel Band is meant to “… ensure those coming into America… have good intentions.”
In justifying his Travel Ban, President Trump also said, “I will never forget that my responsibility is to keep you—the American people—safe and free.”
According to the Cato Institute, no person accepted into the U.S. as a refugee, whether Muslim, Christian, or other, has been implicated in a terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980.