Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Fostering embracement, inclusion and integration of migrants in complex migration situations: A perspective from Matthew 25:31–46 and Hebrews 13:1–2

Alfred R. Brunsdon, Christopher Magezi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 2 | a5966 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i2.5966 | © 2020 Alfred R. Brunsdon, Christopher Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 February 2020 | Published: 28 August 2020

About the author(s)

Alfred R. Brunsdon, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Mahikeng, South Africa
Christopher Magezi, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

This article identifies the complexities of migration situations that subject both host nations and native churches to a paradoxical position on whether to exclude or embrace migrants. This is because migrants are often linked to criminal activities that threaten citizens of the host country. In response to the perceived challenge, this article investigates Matthew 25:31–46 and Hebrews 13:1–2 to propose that the church as a community of God is not supposed to take a paradoxical stance in the complex situation of migration. This is because the church is a community of God that is divinely ordained to embrace and care for the vulnerable regardless of their faith, religious and ethnic backgrounds. The church is thus obliged to continuously carry out its compassionate and caring mandate for the vulnerable despite the possible challenges incurred.

Contribution: The article contributes to the ongoing theological reflection on the challenges posed by migration with special reference to the church as faith community. It is aimed at stimulating practical theological thinking regarding human displacement by critically reflecting on the current ministry of the church in light of Scriptures with regards to migrants.


Keywords

Complex migrant situations; Migrant ministries; Vulnerable people; Inclusion; Matthew 25:31–46; Hebrews 13:1–2

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