Monday, March 21, 2005

conversion and being saved

i spotted this amazing story at the BBC news site today. it has come to light that several asylum seekers have had their cases re-opened after they claimed to have converted to Christianity.
first of all, as an up-rooted Aussie a long way from home, i take a keen interest in keeping up with things "back home." i can't express how horribly disgusted i have been with our governments treatment of asylum seekers. to call it shameful would be an understatement.
(there's more)

Aside from the particularities of the Australian case, it raises some interesting questions for Christians working with asylum seekers. without wanting to be appear course (although, i fear, failing miserably), getting saved might really get one saved! so what does it really mean to care for foreigners in our midst? how might we avoid "rice Christians?"* do we need to worry about avoiding "making rice Christians?"
what do you think?

- see this article if you're interested in some background.
- this article covers some responses from the opposition party
- here is an article where the Australian Prime Minister suggests you are not more likely to be given asylum if you claim to follow Jesus.

* "Christian missionaries in 19th-century India used to describe those who came to the mission stations simply for food as "rice Christians". This became a derogatory term for those driven to accept Christianity out of hunger rather than genuine conviction."

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