Dr. Douglas Rutt, the director of International Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries writes in an article, “God Carries Out His Mission Through Global Migration” (The Lutheran Layman, November-December 2017 p. 16),
‘Migration’ in many ways defines the 21st Century. A recent study by the Pew Research Center states that there are more than 244 million international immigrants worldwide. The United States has the largest population of people who are foreign born — almost 47 million. However, as a percentage, several other countries have larger foreign-born populations than the United States, such as Canada at 22% and Australia at 28% The tiny country of Lebanon, where The Lutheran Hour Ministries has been working since 1950, is host to over 1.5 million refugees, which amounts to over 30% of its population.
In many ways, God is using immigrants to revive and revitalize irreligious nations. In some situations, it is Christian immigrants through whom God is working to birth new churches and to revive “aging” congregations. In other cases, non-Christian immigrants are converting to Christianity in their new homeland changing the complexion of mono-ethnic communities of faith and denominations.
How should Christians respond to the challenge of global migration, especially when that migration results in people moving into your communities? Referencing the work of Samuel Escobar, Dr. Rutt makes three suggestions:
First, he [Samuel Escobar] calls for Christian compassion and sensitivity. …
Second, he recommends that churches should take a prophetic stance against the injustices and abuse migrants often suffer. …
Third, Escobar, suggests that the church see the global migrant movements today as opportunities for outreach.
If you are interested in reading Dr. Rutt’s entire article, please visit: The Lutheran Layman (Nov-Dec. 2017).