Archives For Immigration

 

Neighbor-Daniel

 

Yesterday, the issue of immigration was back in the news, as the Supreme Court announced that it will take up a case to decide whether Pres. Obama’s executive actions on immigration are constitutional

 
Not sure if immigration matters to Christians or if it does, why it matters?  Here is a reading list that will help you better understand immigration in theological perspective. 
 
Most of these books focus on immigration from Mexico and other parts of Latin America, but there are a couple that focus on immigration from other parts of the world.
 
What books have been most helpful to you in thinking theologically about immigration?
 

Welcoming the Stranger:
Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate

Matthew Soerens and Jenny Yang

 
*** If you only have time for one book, read this one!
 
*** Read our review
 
 
 
 
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I’m looking forward to going to the Justice Conference this weekend in Chicago!

In honor of this gathering, I offer…

10 Recent Books that will guide us toward a deeper,
more Christ-like understanding of justice.

Where applicable, I have link to our review / coverage of each book.

Enjoy, and share these with your friends!

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Blessed by the People that the Empire Forgets and Disdains and Shuns

Jesus was a Migrant

Dierdre Cornell

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by D.L. Mayfield

 

The front cover is of a man drawn in a Byzantine style, curly haired and bearded, trapped behind a wall of barbed wire. As he grabs a sharp strand of the fence in his hand he stares out at me, the reader. I notice the wound, dark and red, gaping from his palm. As anyone who ever went to Sunday School will know, this man is obviously Jesus. The title of the book competes with the wounds and eyes of Christ for my attention: Jesus Was a Migrant, it proclaims with boldness. I do not quite know what this means. I want to ask questions of it, wrestle with this claim, right from the beginning. I feel so very far away from him, and far away from the experiences of the stateless wanderers our world produces.

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“You Welcomed Me”

A Brief Review of

Bishops on the Border: Pastoral Responses to Immigration
Mark Adams, Minerva Carcano, Gerald Kicanas, Kirk Smith, and Stephen Talmage

Paperback: Morehouse Publishing, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Gil Stafford

 

Living in Arizona, immigration and border issues confront the average citizen almost every day. The news and political advertisements remind everyone living here that Arizona is a border state held hostage by volatile polar opinions. Even the church cannot avoid the controversy. Parishioners stand firmly in their opinions on both sides of the aisle. Any pastor who dares takes sides will suffer the wrath of one or more passionate parishioners. As with any political issue, religious people have their own personal opinions, some formulated by scripture, others by popular media, and a few by personal experience. However, there are few issues, if any, in Arizona that can inflame more people quicker. Arizona’s Episcopal Bishop Kirk Smith wrote, “I have received far more hate mail (and to be fair also many complimentary letters) for positions I have taken on immigration than on any other actions that I have ever taken as a bishop. I know that my coauthors have also experienced verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence.”

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Mahi Binebine - Welcome to Paradise: A NovelLook Across Jordan:
The Longing and Dreams of the Least of These

A Review of

Welcome to Paradise: A Novel

Mahi Binebine.

Paperback: Tin House, 2011
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Review by Emily Zimbrick-Rogers

Welcome to Paradise, by Moroccan author Mahi Binebine, resembles an African-American slave spiritual—brief, evocative, laden with longing for freedom. Like the singers of “I am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger,” the characters in Welcome to Paradise believe “there’s no sickness, toil nor danger/in that bright world to which [they] go.” Waiting on the Moroccan shore, seven Africans look across the Strait of Gibraltar, a modern-day Jordan, hoping to escape horrors of poverty and violence.

The novel’s present action is simple: six men, a woman and a baby wait for a trafficker to take them across the dozen miles to freedom in a small boat. Like African-American slaves before them, desperation forces them to depend entirely on traffickers for a crossing, which endangers their lives and rips them from everything and everyone they know.

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Ched Myers and M Colwell - Our God is UndocumentedA Promise Even Greater than that of Lady Liberty

A Featured Review of

Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice.

Ched Myers and Matthew Colwell.

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Jonathan Felton.

A Church without Borders

One could be forgiven for expecting this book to be a rehash of liberal arguments about immigration policy, anchored by a smattering of bible verses. It isn’t. Ched Myers and Matthew Colwell have something else in mind, and their short book contributes some big ideas to discussions of “biblical faith and immigrant justice “

The authors acknowledge that the reflections in their book are “unapologetically theological and ecclesial.”  This is a book about God and the church. They are more concerned with conveying “a faith-rooted ethic regarding the sojourner in our midst than with the current debates over U.S. immigration and naturalization policies.” Acceptance of their thesis does have implications for our attitude toward those policies. The authors hope we will approach them with a revised sense of loyalty, and therefore with a renewed set of priorities.

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Listen to the Children

A Review of

Listen to the Children:
Conversations with Immigrant Families/
Escuchando a los niños:
Conversaciones con familias inmigrantes

By Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
Paperback: Judson Pres, 2011.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Michelle van Loon.

“One of every five children in the United States today lives in an immigrant family. The majority of these children will become lifetime residents of the U.S., and their presence will affect the basic institutions of society.” Elizabeth Conde-Frazier quotes a think tank panel’s findings in order to focus our attention on the issues these children (and their parents) face.

The book’s 80 pages are in both Spanish and English. Though the book is brief in length, its seven chapters offer a helpful detail about the social and emotional journey often experienced by Hispanic immigrant families. Listen to the Children offers a particular emphasis on the experience of children with undocumented parents, but much of the material in the book is applicable to every immigrant family. From making the decision to leave a home culture in search of better economic prospects to the challenges of re-forming a family unit in an alien culture, Conde-Frazier allows the voices of both children and parents to describe their particular experiences. The conclusions she offers about the kinds of care and support these families need are not in-depth solutions, but wise and empathetic first steps for the teachers, clergy, social workers, friends and relatives who are involved with these families.

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No Longer Strangers

**** Two Weeks Left and still plenty of space left…
**** Please help us spread the word!!!

No Longer Strangers:
A Conversation on the Church and Immigration

Immigration is one of today’s most pressing issues, one on which there is much fear, misunderstanding and tension. We believe that in the church community – where, despite our ethnic heritages, we are brothers and sisters – we can begin to untangle the misunderstandings and seek justice and reconciliation together.

We hope that you will be able to join us for this important conversation – in English and Spanish – on the church and immigration.

Main Speaker:
Daniel Carroll Rodas, Author of: Christians At the Border

When: Friday evening April 8 and Saturday April 9, 2011

Where: Englewood Christian Church / Indianapolis

Registration / More Info: http://www.englewoodcc.com/nolonger/

Facebook E-vite (spread the word!): http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=191803657497627

 

No Longer Strangers

No Longer Strangers:
A Conversation on the Church and Immigration

Immigration is one of today’s most pressing issues, one on which there is much fear, misunderstanding and tension. We believe that in the church community – where, despite our ethnic heritages, we are brothers and sisters – we can begin to untangle the misunderstandings and seek justice and reconciliation together.

We hope that you will be able to join us for this important conversation – in English and Spanish – on the church and immigration.

Main Speaker:
Daniel Carroll Rodas, Author of: Christians At the Border

When: Friday evening April 8 and Saturday April 9, 2011

Where: Englewood Christian Church / Indianapolis

Registration / More Info: http://www.englewoodcc.com/nolonger/

Facebook E-vite (spread the word!): http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=191803657497627


INHABIT CONFERENCE - Seattle April 29-30The ERB is proud to be one of the sponsoring partners of the Inhabit conference in Seattle, April 29-30.

We look forward to being there and engaging in the conversation, and passing out copies of our print issue #2!

If you are in the greater Seattle area, you should make every possible effort to participate in this unique event, and if you are within a reasonable traveling distance, it is well worth your considering a trip to Seattle!

More info is available on the conference website:  InhabitConference.com

 

035661: Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible

A Review of

Christians at the Border:
Immigration, the Church, and the Bible

By M. Daniel Carroll R.
Paperback: Baker Academic, 2008.
Buy now:  [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Laretta Benjamin.

[  EDITOR’S NOTE: Although this book is about three years old now, we didn’t give it a proper review when it came out, and with the coming No Longer Strangers conference on the Church and immigration that we will be hosting, we wanted to take this opportunity to review it…]

Qué el Señor nos illumine y otorgue entendimiento.  May the Lord illumine us and grant us understanding is the prayer the author prays in the opening pages of his writing. I would be so bold as to add “and all the people said, Amen”. Oh that we as God’s people truly had those renewed minds and hearts Scripture speaks of, then we might actually begin to see things as God sees them and not as they are colored by our nationalities, our cultures and our personal agendas.  Christians at the Border is an incredible encouragement to God’s people to be a reflection of the wisdom of God and the humility, grace and mercy demonstrated in Christ in the midst of all the immigration rhetoric.

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