Churches need to help refugees
Churches are much more likely to fear refuges than actually help them, according to a recent report by Lifeway Research.
Nearly half of the interviewed Protestant pastors said that their churches have “a sense of fear about global refugees coming to the United States.” Yet, 86 percent agree that “Christians have a responsibility to care sacrificially for refugees and foreigners.”
The most disappointing part of the report, though, is that only eight percent of interviewed pastors said their churches are currently involved in caring for refugees.
To put this in perspective, there were approximately 350,000 religious congregations in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, which means that tens of thousands of churches are not practicing what they preach.
We The Threefold Advocate have written often about the refugee crisis and how Christians should respond. However, in light of this abysmal survey, we again urge all our readers to actively get involved in caring for these refugees.
Many people give the excuse that someone else will do the hard work, but we cannot use this excuse any longer. Based on the Lifeway survey, very few churches are actively helping, so we must step up: each and every one of us.
Yes, it is much easier to stand in the pulpit and preach or write an article or opinion column about helping refugees than it is to actually donate money or volunteer your time. However, as the body of Christ, we are called not only to help those in need, but we are called to not fear. “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
We The Threefold encourage your church’s involvement in caring for the refugees. You can raise money, volunteer time at an aid organization, open your home or church to resettling a refugee family or encourage your local government representatives to provide more aid for refugees. It is also important to educate your friends, family and colleagues about the refugee crisis and remind them not to be afraid.
We cannot let fear stand in the way of God’s holy commandment to care for the refugee. “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33-34).