Strangers in the Kingdom
Ministering to Refugees, Migrants and the Stateless
Today’s refugee crisis has engulfed public policy and politics in countries around the world, deeply dividing communities. With increased migration many fear terrorism, crime and a dilution of their perceived national identity, while others embrace it as an inevitable reality of the globalized world in which we live. But what does the Bible have to say about migration and displacement and how refugees, migrants, and the stateless should be treated?
Strangers in the Kingdom asks why God cares for the displaced, presenting biblical, theological, and missiological foundations for ministries to those who have been uprooted from their homes and all that is familiar. Rupen Das and Brent Hamoud apply their experience and expertise to provide timely answers that the Christian community is waiting to hear. Addressing the humanitarian and legal needs of the displaced is the starting point, but relief, repatriation, and resettlement programs need to help the stranger find a place to belong, a place to call home.
A rich resource at a critical time in history, Strangers in the Kingdom walks the fine line between praxis and theological reflection, weaving its content into a relevant whole. This is a theological treatise that needs to be read no matter where you stand in the socio-political positioning of the day. More importantly it is a book that places demands on you if you are truly going to follow Jesus.
Gary V. Nelson, PhD
President, Tyndale University College & Seminary
The teachings of this book fly in the face of current fear-driven conclusions about migration and immigration. However, Das and Hamoud don’t ultimately write to change our minds or politics (though I’ll be absorbing and sharing its truths). It is written so more of us will follow Jesus Christ in fleshing out the heart of God for our world’s refugees. And, miracles of miracles, as we run towards the displaced and homeless we (and many of them) find the Displaced Deity, making his home in us.
Director, Inter-Cultural Ministries,
Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada
We hope that we shall soon live in a world where no one is ever forced to flee their homes, villages, towns, and country . . . Alas! We seem to be far from this ideal situation. Until the dream comes true, anyone who has a heart and feels compelled to dedicate time to ministry among refugees, migrants and stateless people, now has available to them a carefully crafted guide.This is a book that leaves the reader with essential knowledge, information, and spiritual tools to serve and help those who migrate in order to escape death from the hands of ruthless fellow human beings, or to seek better living conditions after despairing.
Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development
Rupen Das and Brent Hamoud have made an outstanding contribution to those of us caught between harsh political rhetoric and the gospel teaching of compassion. The analysis of the impact of loss of identity and not belonging is compelling and opens our missional understanding of welcoming the stranger.
Canadian Baptist Ministries
Former Member, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
In today’s world of increasing division and barriers, Rupen Das and Brent Hamoud provide a timely counter-narrative by suggesting that the church’s imperative to respond to the needs of “outsiders” comes from the very nature of who God is. . . Strangers in the Kingdom reveals the importance of the church’s unique role in creating and participating in a place of genuine welcome where people are valued as those made in God’s image.
Children in Emergencies Programme Specialist, Viva
Strangers in the Kingdom is a profound book that moves the reader deep into the stories and challenges of the displaced. The numbers of those displaced are increasing ever so exponentially, and tragically, each year. The complexities are many, but Strangers in the Kingdom reminds us that each life is precious and that God’s concern is for all peoples and all nations. This is a book to thoroughly read and learn from and then keep close by as a comprehensive reference – a refreshing reminder that God gives guidance and strength to care for the poor and to do justice.
Executive Director, The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
A deeply relevant and timely toolkit that provides both theological and practical insights for the local church to understand and respond to the current crisis of forced migration, as well as with the backlash against migrants, which appears to be on the rise within many receiving communities. Through their reflection on both Old and New Testament texts, Rupen Das and Brent Hamoud make it clear that to walk with those who are newcomers, far from home, or stateless, is to touch a “fundamental aspect of God’s intention for creation.”
Community Health Center Director,
In an era when wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any other time since World War II, Rupen Das and Brent Hamoud provide a thoroughly engaging investigation to help Jesus-followers consider what responsibilities they have to assist those who have been displaced.All followers of Jesus seeking to welcome, serve and learn from displaced people will find this a useful resource enabling them to learn from their experiences and develop ongoing responses that might become even more prophetic in changing times.
Coordinator, Urban Expression
Peacemaker, Peaceful Borders
Strangers in the Kingdom is both personal and timely. Das and Hamoud’s experience and scholarship help educate and promote compassion for the millions of people who do not have a voice. I am thankful for the time and energy the authors have spent on this important effort. Indeed, it needs to be read by every Christian, particularly those in the West.
Co-founder of Social Services for the Arab Community (SSFAC)
This book is an eye opener and an instrument of God for helping us learn the correct terminology regarding who the refugees, displaced and migrants are. Rupen Das and Brent Hamoud did a great job writing this book and I am excited that you have decided to read it. Strangers in the Kingdom can change your perspective on life so that you can see people and the world today in the way Jesus sees them – so that the world and the lives of millions of people can be changed by his love and compassion.
Austrian Baptist Aid
Table of Contents
- PART I: Foundations for Ministries to the Displaced
- 1 - Introduction
- 2 - The Global Context
- 3 - Biblical Foundations 1
- Belonging, Displacement, and the Foreigner in the Old Testament
- 4 - Biblical Foundations 2
- The Foreigner and Migrant in the New Testament and the Early Church
- 5 - Theological Foundations
- The Importance of Place and the Need to Belong
- 6 - Missiological Foundations
- Responding to Those Who Do Not Belong
- PART II: Ministries to Refugees, Migrants and the Stateless
- 7 - The Local Church and Other Ministries
- Enabling the Displaced to Find Space and a Place