Why does the West say “no room at the inn” for Christian refugees fleeing Syria?
from Barnabas Fund:
Luke’s Gospel tells us that when Jesus was born His mother “wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the normal traveller’s lodging”. The Greek word can mean either guest room or inn or caravanserai – but the effect was the same. A young mother, doubtless scared at going into labour for the first time, far away from family and friends – not even able to stay with the other travellers; forced to give birth in the dark in the place where animals were kept and doubtless with the dung and flies that went with them. Luke doesn’t tell us why there was no room for Joseph and Mary, but he tells us in the previous verse that Joseph went to his home town, Bethlehem, “with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child”. The stigma that implied may have excluded them from the caravanserai or inn where other travellers stayed.
And it didn’t get better. Before they were able to return to their home and family in Galilee they had to flee a genocide that specifically targeted those such as themselves and escaped in the dead of night to a foreign country.
That today is the experience of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi Christians. They are excluded from the normal refugee camps, either through fear – with a long history of massacres of Christians in the region – or through prejudice. Some time ago Barnabas Fund asked Christian leaders in the Middle East if they knew of any Christians in refugee camps. One told us, “we did once have a couple who tried to live there, we had to get them out in the middle of the night when we heard people were planning to kill them.”