Australia and the United States have one thing in common – a free and wealthy society that appeals to lots of people who live under the burdens of poverty, war and crime in other parts of the world.
In Australia, the media has coined the term “boat people” to describe illegal immigrants who arrive here in small and dangerous boats. Although they make up less than 5% of Australia’s total immigration, the media has successfully whipped up a frenzy of fear regarding the intentions of these “boat people”.
This weekend, I met some illegal immigrants. They were from Iran, and they had been invited to our church by a friend who’d started talking to them in a park. It was their first time in church, and the first time they’d opened a Bible.
So what’s the upside to illegal immigration? The opportunity to share the gospel message with people who would not have heard it otherwise. The ability to share a message of hope, grace and love with people from a very different religious background. The chance to practically show Christ’s love to a vulnerable and lonely people.
“Do not mistreat an alien or or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21
What do you think? Do you agree that we should reach out to immigrants – even illegal ones – with compassion and love?