Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How about American churches take in Muslim refugees?

UPDATE:  Got an email from someone who has experience of Christians helping refugees in the country, but not by taking them in, and thinks that would be too much to ask.  I've posted the email at the bottom.

The idea of helping the Muslim refugees by Christians taking them into their homes came up in a forum discussion and it reminded me that some time ago I'd had a similar idea but abandoned it.  It would be a solution to the problem of bringing in people who remain strangers with an alien ideology that conflicts with American culture and is even hostile to us.  It would be a lot to ask, of course, I wasn't sure how feasible it would be, and since I couldn't do it myself it seemed wrong to push the idea on others.  But it IS a good idea if people could set themselves to do it.  And even I might be able to do it if someone helped me set up my place for it.

It could be set up through the churches, each adopting a certain number of Muslim families and individuals, and helping get them settled in the homes of congregation members who volunteer to do that.  With the whole congregation providing various kinds of support, the burden on the volunteer family would be a lot easier.  It would take a terrific commitment, you'd have to learn some of the language and customs and be able to explain things, while of course they would have to be learning English, and it could, even should, be a fairly lengthy stay. 

But isn't this a good idea if it can be worked out?  If they are to come into the country it is better that they connect as soon as possible with Americans in an intimate way, rather than be left to agencies and institutions and even wellmeaning counselors, or kept in communities of Muslims only.  Such agencies and other professional help would have to be involved too, but the important thing would be the daily interaction within the families.
UPDATE:  Got this email answering the post:
I have a friend ... who adopted a family from Syria. When they first arrived she spent time with them once a week to help them get settled in the country. This continued for quite awhile. She was a good resource and they still keep in touch. All that to say, I believe there were many Christians or churches involved in helping that group of refugees that came in
You pose having them live with a family from the church. I think that is a lot to ask anyone to do. We have had people live here over the years and it is a lot of work, both physically and mentally to have another family in the same home. You don't know these people at all and you may not even feel safe in your own home. Although many Muslims are peaceful, many actually might hate Christians. I think the idea is better to let them settle in their own home and be a support person, like my friend has done. She has shown Christian love and hospitality.