In South Africa, roughly 79% and in the US, 75% of people identify as Christians. In SA there are whispers of the Home Affairs department denying children born of illegal immigrants a South African birth certificate and the consequences would be dire i.e. statelessness, the inability for those children to access education and other social services. Yesterday, I saw images from the US that broke my heart, images of immigrants, including children, being teargassed by US military and border patrol officials for seeking refuge in their country.

Majority of these immigrants to the US come from countries like Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, whose current political instability IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO THE IMPACT OF US FOREIGN POLICY INTERVENTIONS in their domestic matters. Literally across Central and Latin America, the US has been involved in staging countless coups to instate or remove political leaders that would meet US interests?!

So in the spirit of Christmas, I want to call on and ask all of us to really introspect about why we have such deep-seated hatred for people who seek refuge and asylum among us? Why do we sit passively and allow our governments to act in our name whilst they violate and punish people for fleeing dangers where they come from? It is particularly telling for me that I am seeing very little nuanced theological reflection around this. For South Africa, the continent of Africa spent DECADES protecting, defending, educating, funding your children born and raised in exile when your leaders today could not come home because of the apartheid regime and today when the rest of the continent finds itself in difficulty, we turn our backs because it’s awkward now that we need to return the favour.

Christians, let’s start with the fact that Jesus came into the world as a refugee. Let that sink in. Read your Bible I did not make that up. Ask yourself why what we believe to be the image of God was first revealed to us in human flesh as an immigrant refugee baby? I hope this Christmas I will not sit in church and hear about prosperity and blessings, but that pastors and congregations will have something to say about the injustice that is perpetuated in favour of national security, in our own names! I hope we will find a theology that is relevant and not ‘pie in the sky’. I hope our Christmas tables will be filled with calls to lament for what is happening to ‘the least of these’ amongst us, rather than the gluttony of our own consumerism.

I’m not interested in an interpretation of a God that turns God’s back on God’s own. I am not interested in a theology that aligns itself with those who have power and use it against the marginalised. You can miss me with that heresy.

JESUS WAS THE SON OF IMMIGRANTS AND A REFUGEE BABY. That has to mean something for your theology.

– Lovelyn Nwadeyi

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 9949 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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