Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Refugees

Had a meeting today to talk about the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. The plight of asylum seekers is particularly dire as they have no access to Centrelink payments or even Medicare so many are completely dependent upon religious groups to help them survive. Even those who achieve some kind of recognised legal status have much to overcome in their struggle to resettle in a new country.

The Hebrew Scriptures consistently call for the care of strangers from foreign lands. (The translation 'resident alien' always evokes images of ET for me, so refugee seems to be a fair substitute.) This sense of hospitality and generosity is still something we could learn from. We live now in a situation where we know much more about the global reality that all humans share - and how uneven access to the worlds resources is. We have seen the atrocities which humans commit upon each other and should understand why people might be desperate to escape such situations. So why be so selfish about sharing the wealth that we have here?

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