Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Recommended readings: Faith and migration

Migration has been an important topic du jour in missiology and in broader news and policy discussions. Often such discussions refer to the "migration crisis." While the harmful effects of forced migration especially should not be ignored but rather taken seriously by Christians and policy-makers alike, two recent articles make the argument that it is important to go beyond seeing migration as just a crisis or a problem to be solved.

In their recent New World Outlook article "The Development of Faith During Migration," Michael Nausner and Tsaurayi Kudakwashe Mapfeka seek to shift views of migration from the negative to the neutral. They write, "We, the authors of this article, believe that migration is not necessarily a crisis to fight but a basic living condition that has existed since humans first populated this planet." Moreover, this "basic living condition" has special significant for Christians. A careful reading of the Bible, they assert, will yield "a migratory understanding of Christian identity."

In the same issue of New World Outlook, Thomas Kemper goes a step further by arguing that migration can be seen not just as a given fact of Christianity, but as a positive force in Christian history. Accordingly, he titles his article "Migration as Blessing." In it, he traces the important contributions migration has made to Christianity, especially in the realm of mission.

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