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Asylum seekers - a generous response

If the Kingdom of God is like a banquet then you’ll find Asylum seekers in the VIP section, next to the widows and the orphans.

Photo of Daniel Jones Daniel Jones
3 min

The place will be ruined.

Should be sent to Rwanda.

No one can guarantee that they ALL are safe, friendly, nice folks.”

I'm not saying all of them are criminals, but how do we know who's gonna attack locals.

Our little corner of the UK is currently becoming hotly disputed territory, with conversations online and in cafes about asylum seekers quickly escalating into diplomatic incidents.

Every day our local Facebook group lights up with a dangerous cocktail of fear and anger towards the government’s decision to convert former army barracks up the road into a holding centre for young men seeking asylum. Quiet country lanes are now decorated with flags and placards “not here” “say no to asylum seekers”, while the local council take their fight to reverse the decision to the high courts.

Fear of change, becomes fear of the other, becomes fear of the stranger. Anger at change, becomes anger towards the other, becomes anger towards the stranger. The boats, the holding centres, the planes to Rwanda capture our attention and in an increasingly polarised and combative culture, forces us to have an opinion.

But Jesus calls His disciples to do more than simply hold an opinion or take a particular point of view.  His gospel, His grace, demands our practical action.  To roll our sleeves up and do His work.

Among the discussions on local Facebook groups, this comment stood out:

“If every village and community is fighting and declaring themselves the wrong place [for those applying for asylum], then where is the right place?”

As I read those words I was reminded of Jesus’ words to his Pharisee host in Luke 14:12-14

When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

right place

Where is the right place for those Asylum seekers?

Jesus is pretty clear.

If the Kingdom of God is like a banquet then you’ll find Asylum seekers in the VIP section, next to the widows and the orphans.

The Bible repeatedly calls us to extend compassion and care to strangers and those in need. In the first five books of the Old Testament there are over fifty references to ‘strangers’ and some very unambiguous direction on how they should be treated. In Leviticus 19:34, it says, "The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God."

The love and caring community of the Church is the right place, it's a space where we each can unite in our shared faith in Jesus to transcend the complex and divisive issues of the day. To move away from fear and anger and unite to offer welcome and sanctuary. as Paul encourages us in Ephesians 4:3 to be "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." 


Thanks to the incredible work of organisations like Welcome Churches, Sanctuary Foundation and others, there is now plenty of support available for Churches who want to do more to help refugees and asylum seekers. If you’re keen to make sure you’re the right place I encourage you to take a look at the resources available.

Jesus demands us to bring His good news to the poor, to demonstrate love and care to those within our church communities, and to extend that love and hospitality to those near our churches who are weak, oppressed, dispossessed or vulnerable.

As an Ambassador for Christ, its our diplomatic duty.

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Profile image of Daniel Jones
Written by

Daniel Jones

Daniel joined Stewardship in 2007 and currently leads the Generosity Services division and driving growth in giving towards our target of £250m by 2025.

He has been responsible for developing many successful giving campaigns within Stewardship, including the popular 40acts Lent Challenge, and previously advised the National Stewardship Committee for the Church of England, particularly digital innovations like contactless collection plates and curriculums for parishes.  Daniel was also instrumental in bringing the Giving Tuesday movement to the UK following its successful launch in the USA.

Before joining Stewardship, Daniel led Hand in Hand for 3 years, a Christian international development charity that he co-founded with friends and continues to serve as trustee.

He is married with a teenage daughter and is currently exploring life in a local estate-based church plant.

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