Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees

“Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an immigrant living in a foreign land or a refugee fleeing from war, violence, or natural disaster? I know, for I am one. Being an immigrant and a refugee was not easy, but it has taught me many lessons. One is the importance of being in solidarity with the millions of people who are displaced all over the globe.” This is how Fr Van Thanh Nguyen, SVD begins his introductory video presentation on his new book: What Does the Bible Say about Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees.

Fr. Van Thanh is a professor of New Testament Studies and holds the Bishop Francis X Ford, Maryknoll, chair of Catholic Missiology at CTU. He has authored several books and numerous articles, including “Stories of Early Christianity and Acts” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary for the 21st Century.

At its studios, Wordnet Productions recently taped eight episodes of Van Thanh presenting the various chapters of his new book. The topics included: Women and Children, An Alarming and Rising Trend of Migration, Human Trafficking, A Contemporary Global Pandemic, Climate Change, The Threats of Human Dislocation, Walls and Borders, Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, A Point of No Return?, Undocumented Immigrants, The Myths behind Anti-Immigrant Sentiments and The Bible as a Tapestry of One Great Migrant Family. These are only to mention a few. These shows will be edited in the coming weeks and will be available on Wordnet’s streaming channel, YouTube channel, and on many social media platforms.

Besides this, Wordnet also recorded Soney Sebastian’s interview of Van Tanah which highlights the issues of migration today and introduces the audio version of the book which is read by Van Thanh himself. What does the Bible Say is easy reading with lots of examples revealing the hardships, atrocities and exploitation that are there beneath the surface of immigration. It gives the great story of God’s people wandering as strangers, migrants, and refugees, and it provides us with many Biblical references on immigrants and their struggles. It also tells us how a Christian, in times like ours, should respond to the anti-immigrant sentiments and racial tensions that we experience daily. Migration today is a global phenomenon that is growing in scope and complexity, and affects almost every aspect of human life. This book shows us the way to live with mercy and charity.

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