Commitment to refugee/asylum actions
Exploring the current refugee situation in our country and our world was a key aspect for all involved at the 2016 Baptist Assembly - and resulted in a shared commitment to welcome the stranger
The refugee situation formed the backdrop to the children’s and youth programmes' consideration of what it means to love God and your neighbour.
The programme featured a 90 minute afternoon session called ‘I Will Shake the Nations’, in which delegates were helped to reflect biblically on the issues, and heard from people directly involved in assisting refugees in the UK, what is happening around Europe, and in the Middle East. They also broke into small groups to perceive what God is saying about how he is at work through this.
The upshot was Assembly made the following commitment, introduced at the end of the ‘I Will Shake the Nations’ session, and made collectively at the start of the final session. The youth programme created and performed a drama to accompany the speaking of the words below:
We stand together and we stand with those who would welcome the stranger
And we stand in common humanity with those who some would call stranger
We recognise the cost to us of building communities of refuge
But dare to believe that the values of God’s Kingdom are of greater worth
We celebrate the courage of those who come seeking refuge, acknowledging our common humanity and believe that God is at work within us
And we will seek God’s purposes even in the midst of human chaos and tragedy
We long for a different story; defined by justice and mercy
We place self-interest aside and will live as citizens of heaven in the midst of this earthly story
Picture: Syria’s Forgotten Families feature video (BMS World Mission)