ISIS has taken responsibility for the three terrorist attacks that were carried out this past Thursday and Friday. On Thursday night over 40 people were killed and 250 were injured in a double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. On Friday a suicide bomber killed over 20 people and wounded about 40 attending a funeral in Baghdad, Iraq. Then on Friday night over 120 people were killed and more than 350 were wounded in six different attacks across Paris, France.
In the wake of these attacks, anti-refugee sentiment has greatly increased throughout the world. The “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, endured several attacks and was set ablaze in response to the Paris violence. Twenty U.S. governors announced a suspension in the welcoming of Syrian refugees. On Saturday, the mosque in Peterborough, Ontario was subject to arson.
Refugees -- who are fleeing from the violence of terrorism -- should not be scapegoated for the attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, or Paris. As Christians, we must speak clearly and loudly: we are called to welcome the stranger, protect the vulnerable, and love fearlessly. We are called to respond with love even amidst our fear. We must hold on to our own humanity, seeking the image of God in each person.
Visit this blogpost written by the CRC Office of Social Justice on the Do Justice site to find resources that:
- Help you and your church pray for the victims of the attacks and their families, and for the refugees escaping violence and terrorism in their own countries
- Help you lament in worship these attacks and the situations that force millions of refugees to flee their homes
- Help you speak up for refugees and refugee resettlement
- Help you learn more about these events and the rigorous process that refugees go through to come to the United States and Canada