In the midst of all the harsh rhetoric spoken and actions taken with regard to allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in America we can take inspiration from the Baptist community of Lebanon. Though a very tiny community, the Baptists of Lebanon have been in the forefront of compassionate efforts to assist the thousands of refugees fleeing from Syria to Lebanon. They do so out of a simple gospel principle: Christ calls them to love. As a response to this incredible response of welcome and care, many of these refugees are now found in Baptist churches on Sunday. One of the Muslim leaders put it this way, “In all the history of our faith, we have never seen such love toward us.”
In the midst of the fear mongering we can make a difference as the American Baptist community in simply being who Jesus calls us to be and extending compassion to those who have lost everything in the strife in the Middle East. We all look back and wonder how nations could have turned aside Jewish families seeking refuge as Hitler rose to power. May the same not be asked of us.
Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA