Faith-by-Faith Guide to Immigration

Faith-by-Faith Guide to Immigration

Faith-by-Faith Guide to Immigration
Sacred Text Interpretation
Hebrew Bible "They shall not dwell in your land lest they cause you to sin against Me, that you will worship their gods, for it will be a trap for you." - Exodus 23:33 Hebrew scriptural tradition expects that any ger (Hebrew for "stranger,") will meet demanding moral criteria for residence among the people of Israel. It is not an undiscrimating welcome.
"The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." - Leviticus 19:33-34 This verse refers to non-Jews. The text cites the history of the Israelites as a persecuted minority in Egypt as the explanation for having sensitivity to non-Jewish people in their midst.
"If your brother becomes impoverished and his means falter in your proximity, you shall strengthen him-stranger or resident-so that he can live with you." - Leviticus 25:35 This verse enjoins Israelites from taking advantage of the ger toshav, or resident alien.
"For where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people are my people, and your God is my God; where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and so may He do more, if anything but death separates me from you" - Ruth 1:16-17 These are the words of Ruth, the Moabite, the classic example within Judaism of a stranger becoming a member of the people of Israel. When Ruth's husband, Naomi's son, died, along with Naomi's husband and her other son, Ruth decided to return with the older woman to Israel. This story is read in synagogues on Shavuot.
New Testament "[Lord,] when did we see you a stranger and invite you in? ." The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." - Matthew 25: 38, 40 Many Christians interpret this parable as referring to the Last Judgment, when God will reward those who help the most vulnerable.
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." - Hebrews 13:2 This verse from Hebrews alludes to Genesis, Chap. 18, in which the patriarch Abraham welcomes and feeds three wayfaring strangers. The men turn out to be angels announcing the impending birth of Abraham's son Isaac.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." - Galatians 3:28

"...you are no longer strangers and sojourners but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." - Ephesians 2:11-21
In both verses, Paul teaches that the distinction between native and foreigner, Jew and Gentile, has been transcended with the coming of Jesus Christ.
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. ...he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." - Romans 13:1-7 Read more Southern Baptist leader Richard Land: Some Christians are uncomfortable with a government that doesn't enforce the law. This verse is a warrant to say: "God forgives and forgets. Government has a responsibility to punish that I [as an individual] don't have."
"Which of these proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." - Luke 10:30-37 (Parable of the Good Samaritan) Read more In Jesus' day, Samaritans were outsiders. Christians view this parable as instructing them to care for the needy, regardless of ethnic and class differences.
"And Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven have a resting place; but the Son of man has nowhere to put his head.'" - Matthew 8:20 Jesus speaks of the hardships of discipleship, and describes himself as having no place to call home.
Qur'an "And do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbour from among your own people, and the neighbor who is a stranger, and the friend by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom you rightfully possess. Verily, God does not love any of those who, full of self-conceit, act in a boastful manner..." - An-Nisa (4:36) The essence of Islam is to serve Allah and do good to your fellow creatures. This passage is wider and more comprehensive than "Love God and love your neighbor," because it includes duties to all living things--friends, family, neighbors, strangers, even animals--and emphasizes practical service rather than sentiment.
"Treat with kindness your parents and kindred and orphans and those in need. Speak fair to the people." - Al-Baqarah (2:83) Verse 83 in Al-Baqarah (The Cow) refers to the universal moral law, that we should treat all with kindness, especially parents, kindred, orphans, and those in need. We must share our wealth and our opportunities with them. "Speak fair to the people" means those in power must be compassionate to the least among us and protect them from exploitation and manipulation.
"Those who believed and adopted exile and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid--these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another." - Al Anfal (8:72) This passage refers to the Muhajirun and Ansar, the immigrants and the helpers--the people who forsook their homes and accepted voluntary exile from Makka with their beloved Leader, and their good friends in Madinah, who gave them asylum and every knd of assistance, moral and material. This flight from Makkah is noted as the Hijra, or start of the Islamic calendar.

More broadly, this verse stresses the importance of welcoming those who are fleeing persecution or are seeking a better life.
Hadith (Islam) "Allah's Messenger said, 'Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet (abstain from all kinds of evil and dirty talk).'" - Abu Huraira, from the Book of Al-Adab (Good Manners) in the collection of hadiths of Sahih al-Bukhari Being fair and good to one's neighbor is paramount for Muslims, and "neighbor" is broadly defined. Muslims are encouraged to show material and spiritual generosity to one another and all those in their community.

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