‘Glocal’ and integrated churches within a practical theological imagination of ‘home away from home’: towards a ministry of migrants and refugees in diaspora

Vhumani Magezi

Abstract


Migration has become a major global challenge in recent years. Host countries’ responses to migrants are varied – some accommodate and integrate migrants, others are apathetic, and migrants face exclusion and violent rejection. This suggests that host countries have developed mechanisms to cope with the challenges posed by migrants. Migrants have also developed systems to mitigate the impact of the challenges they encounter, such as the establishment of churches in their host countries. These churches may be referred to as ‘glocal churches’. Typically, members of these churches are migrants who originate from the same country. As such, they use their native language during church services, and church activities resemble those of their country of origin. These churches provide spaces where migrants can feel that they are at ‘home while away from home’, and provide opportunities where migrants can support one another in issues that they may encounter. Theological reflection and ministry on migration discussions have focused on churches in migrant receiving nations, with most discussion centring on exclusion and the inhospitable aspects of host nation churches. These discussions, however, often overlook the contribution of migrants to their exclusion through the formation of exclusive ‘glocal’ churches. In view of this, this article considers a practical theological imagination of ‘home away from home’ as a migrant-theological and ministry-informing approach and draws on the theological notion that all humans are foreigners (or migrants – homo viator) in whichever life spaces they exist. This study argues that this approach provides a crucial nexus and challenge for church ministry integration in contexts of migration and challenges countries to be hospitable based on Imago Dei (theology) and human dignity (human rights) principles. It is argued that maintained Imago Dei and human dignity provide a critical link between churches and a nation. Furthermore, the notions of ‘inclusiveness’ for host people and ‘home away from final eschatological home’ for migrants provide a practical theological imagination that challenge a host country’s citizens to positively consider migrants and migrants to avoid self-exclusion practices and establish integrated churches and communities. 


Keywords


Church and migration challenge; migrants and refugee ministry; migrant churches; migrants coping in diaspora; operative ecclesiology; practical theology of home; refugee crisis and church response; theology of migration; inclusive churches

References


Adogame, Afe. 2013. The African Christian Diaspora: New Currents and Emerging Trends in World Christianity. London: Bloomsbury.

Albuja, Sebastián. 2014. Criminal violence and displacement in Mexico. Online: http://www.fmreview.org/crisis/albuja.html, accessed: 25 May 2016.

Bedford-Strohm, Heinrich. 2008. “Responding to the Challenges of Migration and Flight from a Perspective of Theological Ethics”. In Theological Reflections on Migration. Online: http://www.ccme.be/fileadmin/filer/ccme/01_WHO_WE_ARE/2008_CCME_Reader-_Theological_Reflections_on_Migration.pdf, accessed:20 May 2016.

Bergson, E. 2015. Catholicity Challenging Ethnicity. An Ecclesiological Study of Churches in Post-apartheid South Africa. Uppsala: Uppsala University.

Bose, Sahana. 2014. “Illegal Migration in the Indian Sunderbans”. In Forced Migration review. Issue 45. Online: http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/94903338/illegal-migration-indian-sunderbans, accessed: 30 March 2016.

Cahalan, K. A. and Mikoski, G. S. 2014. (eds). Opening the Field of Practical Theology. New York: Rowan and Littlefield.

Castles, S. and Miller, M. J. 2009. The Age of Migration. International Population Movements in the Modern World. London: Castillo Guerra.

Chelius, L. C. 2014. Mexicans seeking political asylum. Online: http://www.fmreview.org/crisis/calderon.html, accessed: 28 May 2016.

Cruz, Gemma Tulud. 2010. An Intercultural Theology of Migration. Boston: Brill.

Datta Kavita, McIlwaine Cathy, Evans Yara, Herbert Joanna, May Jon and Willis Jane. 2006. Work and survival strategies among low-paid migrants in London. Department of Geography Queen Mary. London: University of London.

Faulconbridge, G. and Young, S. 2015. World unites on Paris, Beirut. Cape Times, November 16, 2015.

Gannon John C. 2001. Growing global migration and its implications for the United States. Online: https://fas.org/irp/nic/migration, accessed: 25 May 2016.

Garson, J. P. and Loizillon, A. 2003. The economic and social aspects of migration- OECD. Online: www.oecd.org/migration/mig/15516948.pdf, accessed on 18 May 2016.

Gilmore Kate. 2016. Keynote address: Side event “Migrants in transit” by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. Online: http://www.ohchr.org, accessed: 20 May 2016.

Groody, D. G. 2009. Crossing the divide: foundations of a theology of migration and refugees. Washington: Rowman & Littlefield.

Groody, D. G. 2013. The Church on the move: mission in age of migration. Mission Studies 30(1): 27–42.

Hastings Borough Council. 2015. What are the specific problems migrants face. Online:

http://www.hastings.gov.uk/housing_tax_benefits/housing_options/migrant_housing_toolkit/specific_migrant_problems/, accessed: 20 May 2016.

Hirschman. Charles. 2003. The Role of Religion in the Origins and Adaptation of Immigrant Groups in the United States. Revision of a paper presented at the conference on “Conceptual and Methodological Developments in the Study of International Migration” at Princeton University, May 23-25, 2003.

Human Rights Watch. 2015. World Report 2015: Kenya – Events of 2014. Online: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/kenya, accessed: 20 May 2016.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM). 2014. Global Migration Trends: an overview. Online: http://missingmigrants.iom.int/sites/default/files/documents/Global_Migration_

Trends_PDF_FinalVH_with%20References.pdf, accessed: 28 May 2016.

Karakas, Cemal. 2015. Economic challenges and prospects of the refugee influx, Briefing of December 2015 – European Parliamentary Research Service. Online: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2015/572809/EPRS_BRI(2015)572809_EN.pdf, accessed: 10 May 2016.

Lausanne Occasional Paper no. 55. 2004. The new people next door. Online: www.lausanne.org, accessed: 20 May 2016.

Louw, D. J. 1998. A pastoral hermeneutics of care and encounter, Lux Verbi, Cape Town.

Louw D.J. 2008. Cura Vitae: Illness and the Healing of Life in Pastoral Care and Counselling. Cape Town: Lux Verbi.

Louw, D. J. 2014, Wholeness in hope care on nurturing the beauty of the Human soul in spiritual healing, LIT, Wien.

Louw, D. J. 2016. Between xenophobia and xenodochia in an operative ecclesiology of home: the plight of refugees and migrants as challenge to a diagnostic approach in a pastoral hermeneutics of caregiving, Unpublished paper.

Magezi, V. 2007. HIV and AIDS, Poverty and Pastoral Care & Counselling: a home-based and congregational systems ministerial approach in Africa. Stellenbosch: Sun Media

Marcel, Gabriel. 2009. Homo Viator: Introduction to a Metaphysic of Hope. Indiana: St. Augustine's Press.

Martin, Philip. 2013. “The Global Challenge of Managing Migration,” Population Bulletin 68, no. 2 (2013).

Martin, Susan F., Weerasinghe Sanjula and Taylor Abbie. 2015. “Humanitarian Crises and Migration: Causes, Consequences and Responses”, Journal of Refugee Studies (2015) 28 (1): 138–140.

McAdam, Jane. 2014. “The concept of crisis migration”, In Forced migration review. Issue 45, 2014.

Metcalfe-Hough, V. 2015. A migration Crisis? Facts, challenges and possible solutions. Online: https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications...files/9913.pdf, accessed: 30 April 2016.

Nie, Z. 2015. The global edge: The effects on host countries. Online: http://globaledge.msu.edu/blog/post/30996/the-effects-of-refugees-on-host-countries, accessed: 5 May 2016.

Nuñez, C. 2014. The 7 biggest challenges facing refugees and immigrants in the US. Online: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/the-7-biggest-challenges-facing-refugees-and-immig/, accessed: 30 March 2016.

Oluoch, Vick. 2012. Racism and other problems that immigrants face in the United States. Online: https://vickoluoch.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/racism-and-other-problems-that-immigrants-face-in-the-united-states/, accessed: 31 May 2016.

Pakoz, Ziya Muhammed, 2016. Refugee haven under attack. Mail and Guardian 20-26 May, 2016.

Plucinska, Joanna, 2015. The Paris Attacks Have Put Europe’s Refugee Crisis Under Renewed Scrutiny, http://time.com/author/joanna-plucinska/, accessed: 28 May 2016.

Polak, R. 2014. “Migration als Ort der Theologie“. In: T. Kessler (ed.) Migration als Ort der Theologie. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, pp. 1–20.

Richard, A. C. 2014. The Syrian Refugee Crisis – U.S. Department of State. Online: www.state.gov /j/prm//releases/remarks/2014/219388.httm, accessed: 23 May 2016.

Robertson, Roland. 1992. Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage.

Schär, Benz H.R and Geisler Ralf, 2008. A Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe Reader, Brussels, Online: http://www.ccme.be/fileadmin/filer/ccme/01_WHO_WE_ARE/2008_CCME_Reader-_Theological_Reflections_on_Migration.pdf, accessed: 20 May 2016.

Skeldon, Ronald, 2013. “Global Migration: Demographic Aspects and Its Relevance for Development. Technical paper, No. 2013/6”. In United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Statistics Canada 2005, Online: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2007000/c-g/4097864-eng.htm, accessed: 31 January 2016.

Sutherland, Peter D. 2014. “Foreword on migrants in crisis”. In Forced migration review. Issue 45, 2014.

Swyngedouw, Erik. 2004. “Globalisation or ‘Glocalisation’? Networks, Territories and Rescaling,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 17(1): 25–48.

Tan, Jonathan. Y. 2012. Migration in Asian and its missiological implications: insights from the migration theology of the Federations of Asian Bishops’ conference (FABC), Mission Studies, 29(1), pp. 45–61.

Thomas, Fiona C. 2010. Migration Studies Unit Working Papers. Online: http://www.lse.ac.uk/government/research/resgroups/MSU/documents/workingPapers/WP_2010_01.pdf, accessed: 28 May 2016.

Thomsen, P. M. 2016. The refugee surge in Europe: Economic challenges. Online: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2016/sdn1602.pdf, accessed: 15 May 2016.

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. 2013. World Migration in Figures: A joint contribution by UN-DESA and the OECD to

the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, 3–4 October 2013.

United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). 2015. Migration, human rights and governance. Hand Book for parliamentarians no 24. Published by Inter-Parliamentary Union 2015.

Vick, K. 2015. Angela Merkel. Chancellor of the Free World. In: Time, vol. 186, no. 25–26, pp. 26–51.

Walt, V. 2015. “World. An attack Foretold”. In Time, January 19, pp. 8–9.

Willems, R. 2005. “Coping with displacement: Social networking among urban refugees in an east African context”. In I. Ohta & Y.D. Gebre (Eds), Displacement risks in Africa: Refugees, resettlers and their host populations, pp. 53–77. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press.

World Council of Churches. 2014. Migration transforms how churches do theology. Online: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/migration-and-social-justice, accessed: 10 April 2016.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)


© 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

No registration, article submission or processing fees apply.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 

SUMMARY: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 
FULL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode

Powered by OJS.