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A Refugee's Quiet Dignity

A Zimbabwean pastor waits warily after South Africa's riots.

Meet Joel N. He is one face of the 19,000 foreigners who have been displaced by the recent riots in South Africa.

He is not the face, thankfully, of one of the 62 who have been killed. Neither is he the face of those victims seething with rage — like Abdul Jama, 32, a Somali father of two who told a local reporter:

I left Mogadishu in 2005 to open a shop in Orange Farm, in Johannesburg. They shoot my partner. They kill him. Then I come to Khayelitsha [an informal settlement outside of Cape Town]. They chase me here. South African government does nothing. F*** government. F*** South Africa. Government say sorry? F*** sorry. Only two things. We go home. Or we go other country. America. Or Australia. South Africa? F*** it. Now is finished here. We're not stay here. F*** South African people.

Joel N is not angry, partly because he has not had any friends killed, and partly because he is a Christian whose faith appears to be a solid rock in a crashing sea of violence and unrest. He spoke ...

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