What does the Bible say about how we should treat immigrants? 7 scriptures to know

By Ariel Harris // Faith & Culture // EEW Magazine


Christians in the U.S. are dual citizens of America and the Kingdom of God, which means we are to view political and social issues through the lens of God’s word.

As our nation focuses on the immigration crisis resulting in men and women being caged in overcrowded detention facilities, and migrant children being separated from their families, it is a good time to closely examine what the Bible says about how we should treat immigrants, foreigners, and those in need.

Here are 7 scriptures you should know to help shape your thoughts and align your ideas with a biblical perspective.

Matthew 25:35,40: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”  

Deuteronomy 10:18-19: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”

Leviticus 27:19: “‘Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.’ Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”

Jeremiah 22:3: “This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

Zechariah 7:9-10: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”

Romans 12:13: “Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”

Hebrews 13:1-3: “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.

Keep in mind that Mary and Joseph were forced to flee Bethlehem and go to Egypt to escape the murderous King Herod, who wanted to kill Jesus. According to Matthew 2:12-15, as instructed by an angel of the Lord, they fled and became refugees.

As you see, even our Savior can relate to the concerns, perils and struggles of immigrants and refugees. Also, scripture is clear that we should love and care for the plight of foreigners, and as the opportunity arises we are to do whatever we can to help them.

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