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EthicsDaily 2018: Working with Partners Advocating for Human Rights of Immigrants

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South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu proclaimed, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

EthicsDaily is committed to working with partners advocating for the human rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.

Born from a journey to Palestine as migrants, Abraham’s and Sarah’s story notes the sacredness of following God’s calling while searching for a land flowing with milk and honey.

The Hebrew Scriptures are punctuated by periods of sojourning. Deuteronomy 26 reveals the centrality of migrating to Jewish faith through its instructions to the Hebrew people upon reaching the land of promise.

They are to make an offering to God of the first fruits of harvest as a sign of thanksgiving.

As part of the offering, they recite the story of their journey, which begins, “A wandering Aramean was my father.”

As Christians, we cannot ignore the reality of the Christmas narrative, as the holy family became asylum-seekers, fleeing the wrath of a tyrant and searching for safety in Egypt.

Saved from the tyrant’s hand, Jesus grew to demonstrate the importance of welcoming the stranger among us.

He taught and exhibited a theology of hospitality and generosity toward those with different appearances, cultures, worship practices and political beliefs.

He handed that practice to his followers, with the Apostle Paul reminding the world that there is “neither Jew nor Gentile, free nor slave, male nor female” before the Lord (Galatians 3:28).

We are all “one” before Christ Jesus. The borders that separate us were destroyed when Jesus came into the world to create a kingdom based upon grace, love and hope.

Therefore, EthicsDaily stands on solid ground when we work with partners advocating for the human rights of immigrants.

While the debate surrounding border security continues with points being drawn from many perspectives, EthicsDaily attempts to make certain a voice of compassion and justice permeates the debate.

Baptist Center for Ethics’ founder, Robert Parham, knew the importance of the immigration issue when he co-produced a feature documentary, “Gospel Without Borders.”

Seeing immigrants and refugees as God’s children, the documentary explored how churches were responding to the strangers among them.

“Gospel Without Borders” set the tone for this past year’s work advocating for the human rights of immigrants and refugees.

When the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, expired in March, EthicsDaily co-authored a formal statement with U.S. Baptist leaders asking the U.S. Congress to extend the law that would allow children brought to the U.S. by their parents to remain in the country.

Also, we led the effort to call elected officials to pass a “clean” DREAM Act, which would allow these children to permanently remain in the U.S.

We encouraged advocates to post their experiences with legislators with the hashtag #Baptists4Dreamers.

In conjunction with our advocacy efforts, EthicsDaily published numerous columns developing a theological framework for the treatment of immigrants and refugees.

Columnists explored a variety of issues – from the Bible to the U.S. Constitution.

The moment that took our breath away more than any other was the announcement made by the Trump administration about a policy of separating families at the border.

EthicsDaily worked with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Fellowship Southwest, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas, Buckner International and Texas Baptists to protest the policy and conduct a prayer service outside a detention center in Brownsville, Texas.

We echo the words of Archbishop Tutu as we become the voice for the voiceless and fill the silence of the oppressor with the salvific words of a gospel without borders.

The only way EthicsDaily can continue to educate, engage and empower individuals and churches with productive resources and conversations about the human rights of immigrants and refugees is through the financial support of our readers, viewers and supporters.

If you want to learn more about this important conversation and read personal stories from around the world, we invite you to invest in the future work of EthicsDaily and our collaborative efforts.

No donation is too small; we appreciate and value every dollar given to the cause of supporting biblical ethics and advocating for social justice around the world.

Editor’s note: Secure, online donations can be made here. Donations by check can be mailed to P.O. Box 150506, Nashville, TN 37215-0506.

Mitch Randall

Mitch Randall is executive director of EthicsDaily.com.