Our guests today have an agenda. They’re experts in policy and theology, and a living, breathing Syrian refugee. They emphatically want us to welcome the stranger.
And there’s some undeceiving to do here – for me, as much as you, for folks inside the church as much as outside.
Christianity is clear: providing refuge for the downtrodden foreigner isn’t politics. It reflects one of the most basic ideas of the faith – that God is merciful to the needy outsider.
Meet our guests
Akram Khaieo and his family arrived in Australia in 2016 as part of Australia’s one-off intake of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing war and unrest.
Mark Glanville is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Regent College in Canada. Mark’s recent scholarship explores dynamics of kinship, focusing on the book of Deuteronomy in particular, on the Old Testament more broadly, and also on the synoptic gospels. In various publications he explores how scripture calls God’s people to enfold vulnerable people as kindred, especially displaced people seeking a place to belong.
Luke Glanville is an associate professor in the Department of International Relations at Australian National University. His research interests include international political theory, the history of international thought, responsibility to protect, refugee protection, and imperfect duties.
This episode was sponsored by Zondervan’s new book ‘Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth’ by Thaddeus J Williams.
- Read Luke and Mark Glanville’s 2020 book, Refuge Reimagined: Biblical Kinship in Global Politics.
- Watch Akram and his family talk about their first Christmas in Australia in 2016, from The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Read this good overview of Syria’s civil war, from Vox.
- Read more about Islamic State’s kidnappings of Assyrian Christians along the Khabur River, outside of Al-Hasakah, with this report from NPR, or this video report from France 24.
- Check out the latest refugee statistics from the UNHCR.
- Watch this video for a rundown on ‘covenants’, from (the excellent) Bible Project.
- This 2015 New York Times article outlines the crisis Lebanon faced as refugees streamed into the country from Syria: A refugee crisis hidden in plain sight.
- Full text of President Donald Trump’s border wall speech from 2019 is here.
- Here is the Capitol Ministries Bible Study, ‘What the Bible says about our immigration problem’ by Ralph Drollinger (2019).
- UK Home Secretary Priti Patel claiming that 70% of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel are economic migrants.
- Peter Dutton, a former Australian Minister for Immigration says ‘illiterate and innumerate’ refugees would take Australian jobs, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2016.
- Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces that no asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will ever be allowed to stay, from 2013.
- Another former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is quoted on SBS as saying that turning back asylum seeker boats is the most compassionate thing we can do (2015).
- Find out more on Thomas Aquinas and Augustine in our episode Jesus Philosopher (Ep 57).
- Here’s the tape of Angela Merkel, German chancellor for 16 years, calling Europe to account during the 2015 refugee crisis.
- New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg analysed Merkel’s decision to keep Germany’s borders open in this piece, tellingly called ‘Angela Merkel was right’.
- Ten years on, Syrian refugees still crowd Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, as reported by France 24.
- Learn more about Kinbrace, a church and community initiative offering housing and assistance to refugees arriving in Vancouver, Canada.