This article from the Wall Street Journal highlights a huge moral and political question for our times….the extermination of long established Christian communities in the Middle East. Some of the refugees, described so graciously by David Cameron as a “swarm”, are Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq.
While not the primary cause, Western interventions, like the invasion of Iraq, contributed to the plight of Christians there. Western support for rebels in Syria is also worsening the position of religious minorities in that country.
People fear the arrival of refugees in the West, and suggest they will become a burden. But experience shows that previous refugee flows, like the East European Jews, the Ugandan Asians, and the Lebanese Christians have quickly become self supporting and active contributors to economic development in their host countries.
People look back and ask themselves why their governments failed to provide refuge for Jews fleeing the Nazis in the 1930’s and assume smugly that, knowing what we now know, this generation would do better.
The present response to the Middle Eastern refugee crisis throws that into doubt. In fact there is less excuse now, because many Western societies are ageing, and actually need an influx of younger people.