There’s been talk about how Americans should react concerning the current refugee crisis, and our role as Christians, for quite some time. The argument by some has moved passed the slightly ignorant “Jesus would have let the Syrian refugees in, despite the obvious problems.” Instead, many are now foolishly claiming that Syrian refugees are the same as Jesus, who fled to Egypt.
In Matthew 2, we see that Jesus had just been born in Bethlehem and Herod was worried this supposed King of the Jews would grow up to over-throw him. With that in mind, Herod ordered all children, 2 years and under, to be slaughtered. Before he was able to accomplish this an angel warned Joseph in a dream of Herod’s intent, and the family took refuge in Egypt until Herod’s death.
One Family, Not Hundreds of Thousands (Mostly Males)
An astoundingly obvious inconsistency with the argument that these refugees resemble Jesus and His family is that 62% of Muslim refugees from Syria and Iraq are men. And there’s said to have been a total of over one million refugees this year alone.
Now, to be fair, those number do not reflect who’s currently being let into the US. Only about 33% of the refugees from Iraq and Syria that make it through the process to get into the US are men, and Syrian refugees are being let into the US at a rate of about 10,000 per year.
But that’s not the argument being made. Many are saying that Iraqis & Syrians coming straight out of their homeland are almost exactly like Jesus. Not the ones that are already in more stable towns of Europe (meaning they’re no longer getting murdered), the bulk of immigrants that come here.
I’m not buying that this crisis can reasonably be compared to the crisis that Jesus’ family faced. I’m not convinced that a flood of hundreds of thousand military aged men, many unwed and able to fight for their country, are a threat equal to that of Jesus’ family. Jesus was not a physical/national security threat, a threat to economic stability, or (what personally concerns me the most) a threat to negatively impacting the existing culture.
Temporary Problem, Easy Solution vs. Perpetual Problem, Unwanted Solution
The conditions in which Jesus and His family were forced to flee had an easy fix. The threat to Him was temporary and could be solved by hiding out for a short period of time without much else occurring. Jesus’ family did not remain in Egypt for the entirety of their life. They took refuge for a very brief period of time and then went back home.
This is not at all similar to the circumstance surrounding the Syrian refugees, who in all likelihood will not be going back home, and whose travel to Europe and the US does not solve the real problem.
The reality is that no matter how many refugees we take in, there will continue to be more. The refugee crisis is a problem with, for many liberal leaning Christians, a very inconvenient solution. The solution being for us to allow a strong handed dictator to retake power Syria and more war in Iraq.
Without doing these things, or finding some other viable solution, the refugee crisis will be endless. The problem of ISIS, Al Queda, and Assad will not be fixed even if we let millions of Muslim refugees into Europe and the US. In fact, millions have Muslims have already migrated out of war torn countries, and the problem is only getting worse.
So, if you want to stop the refugee crisis, petition you government to stop destabilizing the region with a non-interventionist, pro-arming our enemies foreign policy.
Joseph, Mary, and Jesus weren’t Muslim
Islam has a huge problem with both violence and an inability to adapt to other cultures. This doesn’t mean there aren’t Muslims living all over the world in peace with everyone one of every other religion. But, there’s no denying there are some indications we should be concerned about mass migration of this particular community.
Pew research collected in 2013 concerning the beliefs of Muslims around the world show a disturbing trend. A trend that has no similarities with Jesus’ family.
For example: 74% of Iraqis, a country in the same region as Syria, favor making Islamic law (Sharia) the official law in their country. Of those favoring Sharia for their country, 74% believe it should be applied for all citizens, not only Muslims. 86% of those Egyptians wanting Islamic law in their country also believe in the death penalty for those that convert from Islam to any other religion. Finally, concerning suicide bombings, 29% of all Egyptians believe they are either sometimes or often justified when done against innocent civilians in the defense of Islam.
Although the Egyptians back before the 1st century let in Jesus’ family, they weren’t coming from a land dense with radical viewpoints such as these. Jews did have some views people today might find appalling (like stoning adulterous women), but at that point in time they weren’t involved in (or in support of) bloody conflict, and they weren’t attempting to conquer other nations and bring about the end of the world. This cannot be said for a good portion of the Muslim population in the Middle-East.
It’s reasonable to conclude that Jesus may have been a refugee, but Jesus was not a Syrian refugee under conditions similar to today.
Claims of there being no difference between Jesus’ family and Muslims migrating from lands dense with radical viewpoints, in numbers larger than anyone could have imagined, with no plans of returning home, are grossly inaccurate and completely absent of truth.