Immigration, particularly from Muslim countries, has dominated headlines and presidential debates recently, and not without cause. Civil wars in the Middle East, mass migration, declining birth rates among ethnic Europeans, and radical Islamic terrorism have contributed to deep tensions globally and within our country between those who believe our obligation is to protect our country, culture, and families from the cancerous force of radical Islam, and those who believe our obligation is to aid those fleeing persecution from radical Islamic groups, like ISIS. The US church has a unique opportunity to offer a different way forward, to advocate for compassionate and wise aid for refugees in a way that blesses both them and their new community.
The debate over resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States was made more complex and distressing by the mass sexual assault of German women by what appears to have been North African and Middle Eastern asylum seekers in Cologne, Germany on New Years Eve. Details about exactly what happened and who was responsible are still sketchy, likely to remain so because of the intense debate over refugees in Germany right now. Over the past few years, far-right nationalism has gained momentum across Europe, and in Germany there have been mass protests against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy of accepting asylum seekers. On the other side, there has been an effort to minimize crimes committed by refugees so as to protect the asylum program.
This tension between the political left who support the refugees and the far right who see them as a threat is simply not conducive to accurate and unbiased reporting. On the contrary, both sides have reasons to silence parts of this event ...1
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