Spirit Sightings

May 3, 2015: No need to live an impoverished life

 

From Fraser Macnaughton

The imminent UK general election is gathering pace. The battle for the middle ground is being keenly fought over. Unfortunately the issue of immigration is one that raises temperatures and, increasingly, some politicians are resorting to using injudicious language in the speeches that they make to the electorate.

The differing views as to what it means to live in a multicultural society are being expressed in relation to tragic incidents involving desperate migrants to Europe. The recent sinking of migrant boats in the Mediterranean Sea and the subsequent huge loss of life have been seized upon as tools to blame opposition politicians. The anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence party is using the fact that migrants from Libya lost their lives to argue that before the UK and other countries intervened in Libya, fewer people took the huge risk to cross into Europe in unsafe vessels. In recent years, European countries have been more reluctant to fund effective search and rescue operations when such incidents occur. This has led to condemnation from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, who believe that not enough has been done to ensure the safety of people fleeing from oppression and terror.

However, the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, did not seem to have a problem offering refugee status to “ some Christians from those countries.” He claims that in some countries such as Libya, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to live as a Christian, something he believes is a direct result of British and French military intervention to oust Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Explore…John 15:1–8

  • How do you react when you hear politicians using tragedy as a tool to make a political point?
  • What to do you think is behind the views of people who do not want to encourage multiculturalism?
  • In what ways do you think you can encourage your faith community to embrace diversity and the rich variety of humanity?

Prayer links…

The earliest stories of Christian engagement with the world highlight that in Christ there is neither East nor west. May we in our time stand firm in the gospel imperative to love all our neighbours. Amen

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