Immigration in the United States is one of the most heated debates that the country has witnessed in the past decades. Immigrants account for more than 19 percent of the American population, approximately 60 million people. According to Nagel and Ehrkamp (2016), the country places itself as one of the most culturally diversified nation in the world. Thus, it offers the world the leading role on how to treat and adjust with immigrants globally. Nagel and Ehrkamp (2016) note that the ambivalent nature on the future of the immigration in the country is two sided. The older generation that has been detached from the mainstream society see immigrant s as a threat to the culture and economic welfare of native Americans. Whereas, the other younger generations whose circles includes immigrants have more conservative and encouraging attitudes towards immigrants. However, a Christian’s view on immigration should be guided by the Bible. The New Testament has the most explicit manner in which they should treat strangers (immigrants). John 1:5 states categorically that as we treat our friends we should treat strangers so that they can testify the love of God.

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Today’s immigrant population, contrary to the first immigration that took place in the sixteenth century, is comprised of mostly Africans, Mexicans and Asian seeking refuge from harsh economic situation in their countries (Kosmin, 2011). In the sixteenth century, where most immigrants were from central and east Europe, they were viewed as investors rather than workers. They were viewed as persons who would contribute to the prosperity of America. Currently, the view held by some Americans, mostly the ‘old folks’, is future roles of the immigrant population. According to the Bible in Romans 13:8, Paul clearly states that Christians should owe nothing more than love for strangers, and by love all law is fulfilled. Although it is not quite clear how immigrants will affect the country in the future, people should all strive to love and accommodate immigrants. The Church, which is the bride of Jesus Christ, does not know ethnical, demographic or status boundary, Christ is all and in all.

In Romans 12:13, Paul continues to educate the Church and reminds Christians to participate towards accomadating saints and offer them extended hospitality. The Church, which is the refuge for all humanity, needs to be the first place where strangers or immigrants are accepted (Nagel and Ehrkamp, 2016). Furthermore, Peter demystifies the makeup of the church in Acts 10:34. He states that God knows no partiality and anyone in any nation who acts according to his wishes is accepted by Him. Thus, people should view immigrants as potential members of the church. Extending hospitality to immigrants the church will be extending the love of God to humanity. Immigrants offer the church the opportunity to profess the good news to more people than would have been possible.

In a survey conducted in 2015, it indicated that 12 percent of evangelical Christian did not see immigration from a Biblical perspective (Ley and Tse, 2013). Furthermore, white evangelical and mainline Christians had the opinion of Immigrants as being a threat to American culture. Pastors and evangelists have negated speaking about immigration in the church in order to preserve the congregation and not appear in support of illegal immigration. Even though 86 percent of the Pastors and Bishops agree that Christian should sacrificially care for immigrants. Ley and Tse (2013) have the view that Biblical evangelists should rely on the Bible to aid in eliminating the gap between the congregations understanding of immigration. Matthew 22:38-40 clearly stipulates that Christians ought to love their neighbors as they love themselves. Moreover, the Bible explains a neighbor as a person in need of help. Thus, evangelists should demystify to its congregation that immigrants are our neighbors whom we ought to love and sacrificially care for.

James 1:27 says that God accepts views religion as pure and fruitful, and should be used for advancing aid to widows and orphans. Religion should offer the less fortunate support from being polluted by the world. Furthermore, the discussion and the views of the Americans against immigration is embedded on the premises of how it will affect the future generation. Christians should understand that they are the working agents of God and should offer home, food and shelter to strangers (Nagel and Ehrkamp, 2016). The vices, which are purportedly associated with immigrants, are lack of help and support to live dignified lives. Christians should be the first instance of help and support. They should be willing to forge their priorities and ensure that their neighbors are deservingly taken care of.

It is evident that Christians should rely on the Bible to offer guidance and support in regards to the immigrations discussion. There is a gap between the Biblical understanding and the normal understanding of immigration (Ley and Tse, 2013). Individuals who view immigration as a practice that should be abolished are not Biblically justified to take the stance. The Bible views immigrants or strangers as people in need and whom Christians in accordance with the love and teachings of the Bible should come to their aid. The Bible emphasizes on the power of love, which is the greatest commandment to resolve all matters that are greatly contested. Moreover, evangelical leaders should not refrain from addressing their congregations on immigration, for the Bible is quite explicit on how Christians ought to treat strangers (Ley and Tse, 2013). The country is the most culturally and ethnically diverse country globally. Thus, it should offer a positive way in which other countries ought to treat immigrants.

  • Kosmin, B. (2011). One nation under God: Religion in contemporary American society. Three Rivers Press.
  • Ley, D., & Tse, J. (2013). Homo religiosus? Religion and immigrant subjectivities. In Religion and Place (pp. 149-165). Springer, Dordrecht.
  • Nagel, C., & Ehrkamp, P. (2016). Deserving welcome? Immigrants, Christian faith communities, and the contentious politics of belonging in the US South. Antipode, 48(4), 1040-1058.