Sunday, May 4, 2014

Seeking Refuge or Opportunity?

Sunday Morning Sermon May 4 2014

The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees adopted the following definition of a refugee (in Article 1.A.2):
[A]ny person who: owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country".
The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention's 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country.
The term refugee is often used to include displaced persons who may fall outside the legal definition in the Convention, either because they have left their home countries because of war and not because of a fear of persecution, or because they have been forced to migrate within their home countries. 
We see so many conflicts around us to day and people fleeing from various "difficult" environments seeking a better life in first world nations under the guise of being oppressed and abused. While the symptoms are valid and do exist what percentage of these fleeing asylum seekers are truly genuine in their claims? How many are trying to escape to greener pastures purely for economic reasons?

In the old days we always saw young people leaving their shores in many third world nations and travelling to the UK and US with the "intent" of furthering their education and returning home. Yet, a large proportion of these "pilgrims" chose to stay back in their host nations, some even marrying the men and women in those far away lands.

While all that is well and good what really bites is when you hear these very same people speaking out as if they had never lived in a developing country.

One has every right to do well in life by hard work, perseverence, and effort. But one must not forget ones roots.


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