A reflection on the Clacton by-election and immigration

clacton by-election resultSo UKIP have won the Clacton by-election. I listened to the BBC interviewing people in Clacton who voted for UKIP and the word immigration kept coming up. I then sat in a Doctors surgery where there was only one English doctor out of 6 or 7 on duty.

In the NHS, ‘11% of all staff and 26% of doctors are non-British’ (source). I am ashamed to live in a country that appears to be moving towards becoming anti-immigration whilst we happily accept the services of non-British nationals who live amongst us.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to restrict immigration or to talk about countries having their fair share of people moving in, after all no one country can cope with an influx of people. What I have trouble with is people who are just anti-immigration and that was the attitude I heard in the radio interviews this morning.

A related issue is to do with asylum seekers and it breaks my heart to hear people complaining about these people coming to our country. An asylum seeker is someone who is asking to live in a country because life in their own country is too dangerous for them to remain there. What kind of nation are we if we talk about turning away people who could face death if they return home just so we can save a few quid!

What does the Bible teach about immigration?:

33 “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. 34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19)

This is one of a number of verses in the Old Testament that talk about welcoming people who are foreigners and treating them well. For Christians to say they are to be completely against immigration is for them to disagree with the Bible’s teachings.

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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