For those who want to inform and position themselves to be a voice for truth in refugee crisis conversations, there are Bible studies, books and documentaries available.
This listing will be updated as new material is discovered. If you are aware of something that may be useful to others, please let us know and we will add it to the site.
Refugee Highway Partnership has made available a 3-lesson Bible study by Marike Blok simply called "Refugees" available for download by anyone who would like to use it. A guide for facilitators is available here.
Her introduction to the study reads:
Worldwide there are more than 60 million refugees today. Many of them have fled wars, violence or oppression... This does not leave us unaffected. We are being confronted with refugees, not only via the media but also in our cities and villages.
These three practical Bible studies will help you to talk about this issue, to learn what God teaches about this in His Word, and to bring into practice what you learn.
WelcomeImmigrants.org has published a Bible study called "The Ruth and Naomi Project: Welcoming the Stranger in Our Midst." It is available for download here, although there are a number of other related resources available from their website.
The Bible references immigrants 92 times; nearly every time, God's Word is encouraging or commanding God's people to welcome them.
Jesus calls us to reach beyond our own families to extend hospitality to people who are different from us...In a divisive culture, Christians will stand out by reaching across the aisle to those who need welcome and care.
Books and Videos
"Generous Justice - How God's Grace Makes Us Just" by Timothy Keller explores a life of justice empowered by the experience of grace every believer encounters when they accept the gift of God's salvation. As he says in the prologue,
"I am writing this book for people who don't see yet what [Jonathan] Edwards saw, namely, that when the Spirit enables us to understand what Christ has done for us, the result is a life poured out in deeds of justice and compassion for the poor."
An experienced pastor, Keller discusses Old and New Testament scriptures to help us see that justice is not only important to God - it is a basic way of life that He calls His people to follow. And being the good, good Father that He is, along with the "naked call to care about justice, He gives us everything we need - motivation, guidance, inner joy, and power - to live a just life."
"After the Last Border" by Jessica Goudeau
Jessica Goudeau tells the true stories of two families who are welcomed to Texas as refugees. Goudeau, a gifted listener and writer, takes the reader deep into their personal lives, tragedies, hopes and eventual resettlement in their new homeland.
The stories are told from the perspective of the women in the household, giving a depth of detail and a greater understanding of the richness of their cultures. The horror of war and loss of their homes, family members and freedom lead to a Christian family from Myanmar and a Muslim family from Syria finding their way to a new life in the U.S.
Interspersed with the unfolding tales of their stories are segments of the history of the U.S. immigration and refugee program over the years. While told from a U.S. perspective, this book is written with warmth and compassion and opens the readers’ eyes to the complexity of the refugee life and the tremendous courage needed to start a new life in a foreign land. (reviewed by Trish Irwin-Kitt, ON)
"Welcoming the Stranger" by Matthew Soerens & Jenny Yang
Matthew Soerens is the US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief, where he helps evangelical churches to understand the realitites of refugees and immigration and to respond in ways guided by biblical values.
Jenny Yang is the Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, where she provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief.
Although written with a distinctly US perspective, the universal issues of immigration, forced migration and the Christian's response are timely. Interwoven throughout are true stories of immigrants' experiences and the authors conclude with concrete ways for you and your church to welcome and minister to immigrant neighbors.
ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .
MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .
All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.
This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.
"The Boat People" by Canadian writer Sharon Bala who lives in St. John's Newfoundland. Her debut novel, The Boat People, was selected for the 2018 edition of Canada Reads. It is a Globe and Mail bestseller described as "an extraordinary novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage only to face the threat of deportation amid accusations of terrorism."
This was a thought-provoking read for Susan, highlighting the complex issues of living with guerilla warfare, the poignant decision to leave everything behind, the seemingly mundane choices that lead to unimaginable consequences, all woven into the backdrop of a father's love for his son.
"Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of teh refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.
"This visceral work of cinema is a testament to the unassailable human spirit and poses one of the questions that will define this century: Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity?"
Available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube and more.
- excerpt from: Human Flow / synopsis
"The Redheaded Refugee" by Bengt Alshalabi and Bengt Hällgren is the detailed and true story of one of the many refugees from Syria who sought asylum in Sweden in 2015. Now, less than three years later, Bengt Alshalabi has learned to speak Swedish well and is able to tell the story of his life.
In the first part of the book, Alshalabi gives the reader an insider’s perspective on growing up in Syria, including his experiences as a student in a state and later a religious school. He then describes how the demonstrations during the “Arab Spring” step by step develop into full-scale war, and how his family is forced to flee to Jordan under harsh circumstances. Frustrated by his inability to continue his education there, he and some friends resolve to go to Europe, a decision fraught with dangers. Through his gripping narrative, the reader shares in his dramatic journey across the Mediterranean Sea in a dingy and his trek northward through Europe. In the last part of the book, Alshalabi presents his experiences in Sweden, the difficulties he encounters but also the possibilities that open to him in the new country.