The Uniting Church’s ‘Give Hope’ theology page is a hub of resources about asylum seekers and refugees that are extremely helpful for ding what the Uniting Church does so well, making the links between scripture, theology, Australian statistics, legislation and policy and the experience of real human beings.
Amongst other helpful links to stories, definitions, etc, this page includes links to these articles/reports:
Justice for Asylum Seekers 'A Call to Prayer' – published in 2012, this resource covers many of the difficult areas including why people seeking asylum come on a boat and whether Australia is ‘doing enough’. It also includes a range of prayers and hymns.
The Christian Traditions of Love – This is a succinct resource that would be a very helpful introduction to the relevant scriptural passages and teaching for a Christian who is beginning to think about people seeking asylum and their response.
Welcoming the Stranger: Biblical Reflections – a concise but thorough examination of what the Bible teaches about ‘welcoming the stranger’ in both the Old and New Testament, with a helpful list of relevant Bible verses.
This is a concise position statement that refers to scripture and it is a helpful statement of a common stance, given that the taskforce represents almost all the major Christian denominations in Australia. The ACRT’s ‘Resources for Churches and Schools’ webpage is likewise a fantastic collection of resources about people seeking asylum from different denominations.
The Salvation Army produced this excellent resource for Refugee Week in 2016. It brings together links to theological resources, worship resources, educational and action and support resources from a wide range of denominations, in a concise PDF. It is an excellent collection for those planning services with a focus on justice for people seeking asylum and refugees.
Similarly, the National Council of Churches in Australia produced this resource for 5th March 2017, and it collates links to many other excellent resources, including a list of relevant scriptures, parish kits, prayer guides and links to relevant websites like the UNHCR.
Produced by the Diocesan Social Responsibilities Committee, Anglican Diocese of Brisbane
Published in 2013, this remains a helpful and well-structured resource that includes definition of terms, scriptural study, the stories of people seeking asylum, discussion questions, prayers, statistics, links for further study and much more, divided into 5 sessions covering the topics:
- The gift of hospitality: inviting the stranger to come in;
- The question of human rights: recognising the imago dei;
- People on the move: the experience of exile;
- Rendering to Caesar: Christians and politics;
- The limits of generosity: balancing self and others.
This is an advanced resource that does not shy away from tricky areas of discussion, like the ethics of offshore processing or avoid relevant scriptures such as ‘rendering unto Caesar what is Caesars,’ or lean towards a particularly progressive worldview. It is well worth reading.
This page will be continually added to as we are able to because we know that there are many other excellent resources available. However we would love our Common Grace community to help us add to it by emailing a short blurb and relevant link to any great resources that you know of that we haven't listed already by emailing us here.