Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Research background and purpose
1.2 Personal motivation
1.3 Review of relevant literature
1.4 Research methodology
1.6 Structure of the thesis
Chapter 2: Theories of globalisation
2.1 Introduction: Globalisation: A buzzword
2.2 Conceptualising globalisation
2.3 Dimensions of globalisation
Chapter 3: Globalisation and international migration
3.1 Defining migration and migrants
3.2 Causation theories of migration
3.3 Effects of international migration
3.4 Trends in international migration: The globalisation of migration
Chapter 4: Refugee Highway: A Christian catchphrase and a world reality
4.1 The term refugee highway
4.2 Features of the refugee highway
Chapter 5: Migrants, refugees and strangers in the bible: An overview
5.1 Migrants and refugees in the Old Testament
5.2 Refugees and migrants in the New Testament
5.3 The attitude towards foreigners
Chapter 6: The multi-ethnic church and the issue of integration in the Book of Acts: An investigation into the nature of the New Testament Church
6.1 The multi-ethnic church: A working definition
6.2 The multi-ethnic congregation and the early church
6.3 Principles of integration
Chapter 7: The refugee highway and the Christian response: Statements and programmes
7.1 World Council of Churches: A Moment to Choose
7.2 Methodist Church in Great Britain: Report on Immigration and Asylum
7.3 Baptist Union of Great Britain: Welcoming the Stranger
7.4 World Evangelical Alliance: Code of Best Practices for Christian Refugee Ministry
7.5 European Protestant Churches: Liebfrauenberg Declaration
7.6 Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales: The Dispossessed
7.7 Church of England: A Place of Refuge
7.8 A critical analysis
Chapter 8: Mission and migration in a globalising world: Missiological perspectives
8.1 A missiological myth and the shift of global Christianity
8.2 Christian migration and the reverse mission movement
8.3 Christian migrants as agents of mission in a global age
8.4 Missiological implications
Chapter 9: The Integration of refugees into the Christian church and secular immigration models: A testing-out research
9.1 Methodology: A scenario test
9.2 Test results
9.2.2 Assimilation model
Chapter 10: Refugee ministry and minority ethnic churches in Nottingham: Two social research projects
10.1 Research location, strategy, design and aims
10.2 The integration of refugees and asylum seekers into a local church: A case study
10.3 The life and mission of minority ethnic churches: A comparative case study
Chapter 11: Arguments and strategies for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into indigenous churches
11.1 Arguing the case for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into indigenous churches in Britain
11.2 Strategies for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers
Chapter 12: Conclusion
12.2 Practical suggestions and recommendations
12.3 Questions raised and suggestions for future research
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In the face of globalisation, one of the challenges for Christians ministering to asylum seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom is the question of integrating Christian asylum seekers and refugees into the Christian community. British churches and para-church organisations that are involved in refugee ministry have to decide whether they want to support the formation of independent refugee churches or the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into local indigenous churches. This thesis examines these options from a missiological perspective. Two social research projects form the heart of this study. One compares the life and ministry of two mature minority ethnic churches, the other investigates the integration process at a British church that has been involved in refugee ministry for almost a decade.
Contrary to the widespread view that the establishment of homogeneous churches is crucial for the mission of the church in postmodern British society, the findings of this research suggest that the integration of asylum seekers and refugees into indigenous British churches is the better option. They further demonstrate that it is not the mono-ethnic refugee church but the multi-ethnic church which makes the greater contribution to the integration of Christian asylum seekers and refugees and to the missio Dei in Britain. In a multi-ethnic church, asylum seekers and refugees serve as role models to British Christians and especially as effective agents of mission. These research findings also show that the integration of asylum seekers and refugees is promoted through the congregation within the congregation model and an incarnational approach to mission. However, they equally indicate that various stumbling blocks can hinder the integration process. These include a low ecclesiology, a lack of awareness of globalisation, and a reac- tive leadership style and church culture.
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Research background and purpose
The increased cross-border movement of millions of people, which is a common feature of globalisation, impacts British society and the church in Britain. Since the mid-nineties the UK has seen a significant number of forced migrants entering the country in order to seek refuge and apply for asylum. Migrants have been both Christian and non-Christian. Some forced migrants were Christians before they came to the UK, others embraced Christianity following their arrival in the UK. They face two immediate challenges: integration into British society and establishment in the Christian community.
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the UK debate on how best to integrate Christian asylum seekers and refugees into the Christian community in an age of globalisation. In particular, the study examines forms of integration which foster Christian mission in Britain. This dimension of mission has not been researched so far.
As the literature review will show, UK data mainly deals with pastoral issues and the practical needs of asylum seekers and refugees. The integration of asylum seekers and refugees into the church, and their contribution to religious life in Britain, are treated in general terms only. In contrast, this study begins by exploring the steps which need to be taken for successful integration but then goes on to examine the specific contributions which Christian asylum seekers and refugees can make to the life and mission of the Church. This has particular relevance in post-Christian, postmodern Britain.
1.2 Personal motivation
The starting point for this investigation was my placement with International Teams in the summer of 2001 as part of my theological training at St John’s College, Nottingham. International Teams is a para-church organisation involved in church planting, relief and community development projects, urban poor ministries, and medical care as well as ministry to asylum seekers, refugees and ethnic minorities. I chose this placement for three reasons. Firstly, coming from a family with a refugee background, I felt drawn to this form of ministry. Secondly, I identified the fact that the arrival of increasing numbers of asylum seekers and refugees would challenge the Church in its mission in Western Europe. Thirdly, I saw the importance of assisting colleagues in their attempts to grapple with the complex issues surrounding forced migration.
After my graduation I continued to be involved with refugees and ethnic minorities in Nottingham in a variety of roles. Between September 2001 and September 2006 I served as assistant pastor of the German-speaking Lutheran Congregations in the English Midlands. In 2004 I was appointed part-time International Chaplain at the University of Nottingham, working not only with international students and scholars but in partnership with two local minority ethnic churches and indigenous churches, each exercising their own international ministry. Over the last five years I became the regular guest speaker at meetings of Christian refugees and asylum seekers from Iran and Eastern Africa. This engagement with refugees and ethnic minorities highlighted the importance of integrating asylum seekers and refugees into the local Christian community.
1.3 Review of relevant literature
1.3.1 Asylum Seekers, refugees and the British church
In 2003, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland published Asylum Voices (Bradstock & Trotman 2003:65) in an attempt to articulate the views of asylum seekers in Britain. It featured interviews with individual asylum seekers and their families from many different ethnocultural backgrounds (:65). The authors, in eight chapters, identify the reasons why they leave their countries for the UK and explain the asylum support system (:1-32). They also look at a number of questions including integration (:48-51), detention (:33-40), and health (:52-59) and reflect theologically on them. Bradstock and Trotman conclude that ‘a more humanitarian, compassionate and fact-based response’ to asylum is needed (:63), and take up the practical suggestions of the Churches’ Commission for Racial Justice on how this might be achieved (:63-64). These recommendations include the following: increased cooperation between the British Government and other Western countries and international organisations in tackling the causes of forced migration and the provision of better language teaching facilities for asylum seekers (:63-64). National church bodies are urged to intensify their political lobbying on behalf of asylum seekers (:63). Local congregations and their leaders are encouraged to develop their understanding of the issues by consulting the growing body of information on the subject, especially data on the root causes of forced migration (:63).
Asylum Voices asserts that Christians should recognise the human experience behind the statistics and God’s call to respond. The authors claim that the right to work, which asylum seekers are denied, is essential for integration into British society (Bradstock & Trotman 2003:48) given the fact that work gives human beings ‘purpose, fulfilment, worth, and satisfaction’ and the opportunity of ‘co-creating with God’ (:48). However, what is missing in their chapter on integration is a discussion on the integration of Christian asylum seekers into the Christian community. The authors fail to mention this issue at all, even though some of their interviewees were Christians.
In her article Welcome the Stranger, Helen Jaeger (2003) tells the story of three Christians and their work with asylum seekers in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. She details the practical, emotional and spiritual help that forced migrants receive from these Christian workers (:36). She also identifies some of the problems that asylum seekers and their helpers experience in the UK, such as racism, a lack of financial funding, and unjust decisions by the authorities (:36). One of the workers featured in Jaeger’s article argues that education is important for the integration of asylum seekers into British society (:36). Another Christian refugee worker, a former asylum seeker himself, emphasises the need of refugees to be integrated into the Christian church on the grounds that they have much to contribute (:37). Jaeger finishes her article with a strong appeal:
Dave, Margaret and other Christians are working sacrificially to welcome strangers to our shores. What will our church and individual response be to the asylum seekers who arrive in our town, at our church, in our society? If we take Christ’s words seriously and seek to obey we must welcome them (:37).
While Asylum Voices and Welcome the Stranger are concerned about the plight of UK asylum seekers, Nick Spencer’s (2004) book Asylum and Immigration – A Christian Perspective on a Polarised Debate has its focus on concepts, principles, and policies. Spencer examines the British asylum system and the reasons behind the increase in UK asylum applications (:15-36), to which he applies a biblical analysis using such concepts as nation, ethnicity, unity, and diversity, together with different Hebrew terms for ‘alien’ (:85-123). Spencer concludes that there are a number of biblically based ‘overarching principles’ which should be translated into government policy (:124-125). These principles are: the unity of humankind (:125-126), the reality of nations (:126), the openness of borders (:126-127), the obligation to love foreigners (:128), basic rights and responsibilities of immigrants (:129), a willingness to integrate and to accept integration (:130-131), the exercise of compassion for those who are vulnerable (:131-132), and the role of the Christian church as a ‘model of a cross-cultural community’ (:132). Spencer describes the church as role model in the following terms:
The Church should transcend all national borders and act as the model for an international community. It should be prepared to challenge government policy if that policy flouts gospel principles. It should exemplify the welcome and hospitality and humanising attitude to the stranger that Christ so powerfully speaks of in Matthew 25. It should, in short, be the model of an international, inter-ethnic, locally active, belonging community (:132).
Spencer is right to argue that the church has a prophetic task in challenging government where, for example, secular authorities separate asylum seeker parents from their children in order to force them to leave the country - the clausula Petri of Acts 5:29 applies (Prill 2005a:20). However, it is quite another question on how far Spencer’s principles can form the basis of government policy in a postmodern society where the Christian faith continues to lose influence. And what he does not do is to elaborate on how the church in the UK can serve as a cross- cultural role model on a local, regional and national level. He limply writes: ‘Exactly what this entails will be debatable’ (Spencer 2004:132).
In 2004 Welcoming Asylum Seekers was published in the Grove ethics series. In this booklet Stephen Burns (2004) reflects upon his experience of working with both Christian and non-Christian asylum seekers and refugees in an Anglican parish in the north east of England. As the title indicates, Burns’ main focus is on the initial reception of refugees and asylum seekers rather than on their integration into the local Christian community. He identifies several problems or barriers that churches may face. These problems include: racism both outside and within the church community (:22), cultural homogeneity of the local church (:20), the lack of sufficient resources (:17), and the fear of local people that they might be displaced by the new emphasis in mission (:17-18). Burns claims that some of these problems are closely linked to the fact that asylum seekers are often placed in socially deprived areas with churches that are stretched to their limits (:23). ‘They are likely to be churches in areas’, he writes, ‘in which forms of socio-economic deprivation are already entrenched, and which are perhaps heavily burdened by the multiple pressures of their difficult context’ (:23).
As a result of his own observations and reflections Burns (2004:23) formulates three theological convictions that he considers to be important for ministry among refugees and asylum seekers. Firstly, he argues that the doctrine of the community of saints requires practical solidarity of the wider church with those local congregations involved in refugee ministry (:23-24). Secondly, he believes that the sacrament of Holy Communion can play a central role for the practice of hospitality to asylum seekers (:24). And finally, he claims that it is important to practise the hospitality of Jesus which is characterised by a self-effacement that encourages people to seek Jesus’ presence in the unimportant and marginalised (:24-25).
Burns’ understanding of refugee ministry is predominantly that of a need-based ministry (2004:19). Both Christian and non-Christian asylum seekers and refugees are almost exclusively seen as people who need the practical and spiritual support of the British church (:17&20). That asylum seekers and refugees can actually contribute something to the life of their host community is referred to only briefly when he speaks of the ‘great joy’ that he experienced during the visit of a group of Muslim asylum seekers from Afghanistan (:19-20). He fails to mention the contribution which Christian asylum seekers and refugees can make to the mission of the church in Britain.
The same is true in Changing Society and the Churches: Race by Kenneth Leech (2005), an Anglican theologian and former Race Relations Officer for the Church of England’s Board for Social Responsibility. Leech devotes one chapter of his book to the issue of immigration in which he critically analyses the claims that Britain is a ‘soft touch’ for asylum seekers and refugees (:46-47). He also points out that the issues of race and immigration are closely related. ‘Although the debate on immigration has focused on numbers,’ Leech writes, ‘the colour and the character of the immigrants has always been a factor, usually the major one’ (:49). For Leech the role of the churches in this debate is clear:
Christian and other faith communities will have a major task in trying to develop a rational and humane debate on the issue, in combating racism and hysteria in immigration policy and rhetoric, and in providing support for the victims of these policies (:67).
In contrast to Burns (2004) and Leech (2005), the Church of England’s (2005:53-55) report A Place of Refuge recognises that asylum seekers and refugees can contribute to the life of the church in the UK. Contributions can be made by both Christian and non-Christian asylum seekers and refugees. The report claims that ‘[i]nteraction between those of the same faith, or those of different faiths or no faith, may challenge and cost, but will also bring great gain and the joy of relationship’ (:55). The greatest gain, the authors of the report claim, comes through the establishment of personal friendships (:55).
Though the authors of A Place of Refuge (CofE 2005) see asylum seekers and refugees as agents of change, they consider these changes to be on a personal, individual level. Personal friendships with asylum seekers and refugees, they argue, can help British Christians ‘to offer solidarity and compassion’ to forced migrants (:55). In other terms, A Place of Refuge does not see Christian asylum seekers and refugees as equal partners in mission, but rather as those in need of support from the British church.
A similar view is expressed in an interview with Sally Richmond of Enabling Christians in Serving Refugees, a network set up to help Christians to reach out to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK (Lifewords 2005). The interview, published as part of an article in Interact, focuses on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. When being asked what churches or individual Christians could do for forced migrants Richmond answered:
Just as there’s a whole spectrum of needs there’s a whole spectrum of responses, so one thing that we can do is educate ourselves. There is a lot of misinformation at the moment, so we can find out what the facts are and make sure that we’re not caught up in the whole myth-making process. We can be responsible with the language that we use and make sure we talk about refugees and asylum seekers in an appropriate way. We can pray, we can give. And then each of us can give different things (Lifewords 2005).
1.3.2 Mono-ethnic and multi-ethnic churches in Britain
In Building Multi-Racial Churches John Root (1994:7), an Anglican parish priest, asserts that the local church expresses God’s will only when it reflects the ethnic diversity of its neighbourhood. He argues that ‘unity-in-diversity’ was a characteristic of the early church (:8-9).
Root (1994:14-15) identifies racism as the main barrier to the creation of multi-racial churches, especially racism against Black Christians. He identifies five symptoms of racism: (1) verbal racial abuse by White church members, (2) refusal to welcome Black people to the church, (3) refusal of White church members to change, (4) refusal to recognise the gifts of Black Christians, and (5) refusal to ask Black Christians to take on leadership responsibilities within the church (:15-21). Root writes about barriers to leadership in the following terms:
Racism is bound up with power. No people in world history have been as powerful as white people of western Europe and North America have been. This experience of power over other peoples developed a sense of superiority, of the rightness of such a situation. Dismantling this sense of superiority is fundamental to overcoming racism, and it is most threatened when it comes to non-whites taking power of whites (:20).
Having identified the obstacles for building multi-racial churches, Root (1994:25) goes on to argue that while there is no blue-print for success there are a number of conditions which optimise this possibility. Firstly, church leaders need to own the vision of a multi-racial church and develop a ‘positive enthusiasm in welcoming and appreciating’ Christians of other races. Secondly, churches need to identify the gifts that ethnic minorities can bring to them (:28). Thirdly, churches need to reach out to younger Afro-Caribbean and Asian people who have no links with the Christian faith, through evangelism (31-32). Fourthly, churches need to develop ‘multiple leadership’ (:39). Multiple leadership, Root argues, strengthens the leadership of a church and helps ethnic groups to identify with their church leaders (:39). Finally, churches who want to be multi-racial churches need to find ways in which different cultures can live together in one church including sharing in one common worship service. He argues that this can be done in four different ways: (1) by blending, e.g. by using different types of music in the service, (2) by offering alternatives, e.g. by allowing people to dress for church meetings according to their individual preferences, (3) by parallels, e.g. by singing the same hymn together in different languages, and (4) by making choices, e.g. by deciding one standard of time-keeping for the services.
Root’s (1994) analysis of church discrimination against Black Christians has been widely accepted. Thus, in the year 2000 the General Synod of the Church of England published a report entitled Called to Lead: A Challenge to Include Minority Ethnic People (Stephen Lawrence Follow-up Staff Group 2000), which confirms Root’s findings more generally in the Church of England. However, despite his success there are weaknesses in Root’s approach. Firstly, there are other obstacles to the formation of multi-racial churches than he identifies, different spiritual expectations and values being a case in point (cf. Wells 2004:2). Secondly, the resistance of church members to change may not only be due to racism, but can be accounted for in other ways: an expression of their personality or lack of experience with ethnic minorities.
Like Root (1994), Bob Jackson (2002:87), an Anglican research missioner with Springboard – the Church of England’s evangelism initiative, argues that the Church of England must be multicultural. In Hope for the Church – Contemporary Strategies for Growth he claims that it is the calling of the national church in England to be there for the whole nation and not to withdraw into ‘a small, sub-cultural ghetto based around a particular book, liturgy, type of music or preacher’ (:87). Jackson believes that this is a ‘gospel imperative’. Further, he claims that there is empirical evidence that multicultural churches in the UK are likely to reach more people than mono-cultural churches. Referring to the findings of the 1989 and 1998 Church Census Jackson writes:
[O]nly 20 per cent of all-white churches grew in the period, but 23 per cent of those with a 1-24 per cent ethnic mix, and 27 per cent of those with at least a 25 per cent ethnic mix. The richer the mix, the more likely a church is to grow and the less likely it is to shrink (:87).
Unlike Root (1994), Jackson (2002:89-90) does not consider inclusive worship an essential multicultural mission strategy. When services are used to express unity, Jackson warns, conflict is often unavoidable (:90). There is the danger that different groups in the church fight for control of the worship agenda, and those who lose are likely to leave the church. For Jackson, there are other models that can offer a diversity of culture in worship, fellowship and nurture and at the same time maintain unity: the multi-congregational model and the cell model (:89-90).
In the multi-congregational model, a local church offers a variety of services which all have their own distinctive styles (Jackson 2002:90). Such a strategy can, for example, lead to a situation where a church has a family congregation, a youth congregation, and a modern Eucharist congregation (:90). In such a church unity can be established through a shared church vision, a common leadership that affirms the various worship styles, occasional joint services, and mingling in the church’s fellowship groups (:90). In contrast, the cell model offers only one single worship service for the whole church but in addition a number of cells or small groups of differing styles (:90). The benefit of cells is that they offer worshippers a place where they can belong, serve and receive pastoral support.
Some of Jackson’s (2002) views are shared by other British theologians.
Michael Moynagh (2004:54), for example, calls for the formation of ‘rainbow’ churches. These are emerging churches, and like chameleons change their colour according to context. Rainbow churches manage to balance diversity with unity (:53). In contrast to Jackson (2002), Moynagh (2004:51) believes there are dangers in being too prescriptive. He prefers the natural evolution of groups and gives as an example a church that has congregations for children, teenagers and adults which meet twice monthly as separate congregations but on other Sundays start together and split for the second part of the service (:54). Moynagh stresses the variety of options in bringing different Christians together in one church: social events, holidays, weekend retreats, and evening courses (:54).
In Intelligent Church Steve Chalke and Anthony Watkis (2006:142) call diversity ‘one of the key principles of effective mission’ in a multicultural society. To reach diverse people, they argue, it is essential to have different forms of mission and forms of church (:142) and these are grounded in the fact that ‘God is diverse’ (:135), i.e. that God is a community of three distinctive persons (:136). However, they explain that a diverse mission strategy should not lead to the establishment of separate homogeneous churches:
While homogeny is useful for groups within churches (for example, young people’s groups and young parents’ groups), these should always be part of a multifaceted approach to making church diverse. An intelligent church makes room for these different groups not only to engage in mission with those like them but also to meet together and learn from one another (:145).
What Jackson (2002), Moynagh (2004), and Chalke/Watkis (2006) have in common is that they all argue for culturally diverse or heterogeneous churches which consist of homogeneous groups or congregations. While applying the Homogeneous Unit Principle they recognise, as Michael Nazir-Ali (2001:124) puts it, that ‘the universality of the church’ demands a heterogeneous ecclesiology. Despite this affirmation, however, none mention specific groups or congregations for ethnic minorities. When Chalke and Watkis (2006:133) describe the diversity of the Christian community in the UK, they list ‘teachers, builders, college students, doctors, lawyers, factory workers, health workers, shopkeepers, [and] artists’, while Jackson (2002:90) and Moynagh (2004:54) write about congregations for adults, children, and teenagers. Diversity is based on age, or social status but not ethnicity.
A variation of these views can be found in Mark Sturge’s (2005) book Look What the Lord Has Done, which tells the story of Black majority churches in the UK. Sturge is an advocate of the homogeneous church model, i.e. of congregations that consist of one ethnic group alone (:39). He distinguishes between open and closed homogeneous churches. Closed homogeneous churches are churches that deliberately exclude Black Christians because they consider themselves to be racially, intellectually, and morally superior (:42-43). These churches, he argues, are ‘a betrayal of the cross of Christ and sinful to the core’ (:43). Open homogeneous churches are churches that are formed by Black Christians in response to this racially motivated exclusion. They serve the particular needs of a minority ethnic group and can hardly be considered ‘illegitimate’ (:42&43). Furthermore, Sturge sees them ‘as instigated by God, his intervention being necessary in order that his righteousness and justice should be properly reflected to the world’ (:43).
Sturge marshals several arguments in favour of the homogeneous church model. Firstly, he claims that there is empirical evidence that growing churches in the UK use mission strategies that are based on some form of homogeneity (:41). Secondly, he argues that homogeneous churches are compatible with Scripture (:48-51). Referring to the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:16-17, he writes that it is his ‘contention that homogeneous units are in fact a way to preserve the unity of the church’ (:49). ‘Jesus’, he continues, ‘saw that the only way to preserve old wineskins was to protect them from new wine, and vice versa. We ignore this at our peril’ (:49-50). Thirdly, Sturge asserts that leaders of White churches are ineffective in meeting the needs of minority ethnic Christians in the way they should because of their lack of cross-cultural experience (:44). In consequence, White church leaders are unable to provide the pastoral care and ethical teaching required (:44). In addition, White church leaders often fail to expound Scripture in a way that is relevant to Black Christians (:44). Fourthly, Sturge claims that in homogeneous groups personal gifts and leadership skills are better developed than in an ethnically mixed congregation (:46).
For Sturge (2005:44-45) the best example of the homogeneous church model is the longstanding church planting strategy employed by the Kensington Temple in London. At one time Kensington Temple had over 100 satellite churches with a total of over 2,500 worshippers. Sturge notes: ‘[M]any of these churches and their leaders were emerging from the homogeneous groups. For me, this is a true model of inclusive diversity, and not a mere concession’ (:45-46).
Like Root (1994) before him, Mark Sturge (2005) affirms that racism is the main barrier to the formation of multi-ethnic churches. His criticism that White British church leaders often fail to value Black people and address issues relevant to them is confirmed by the Church of England’s research report Called to Lead: A Challenge to Include Minority Ethnic People (Stephen Lawrence Follow-up Staff Group 2000:22-23). Thus, the report states that ‘[m]inority ethnic non-churchgoers feel the Church is ‘lukewarm’ about issues of concern to them, and ‘elitist’’ (:23). However, he claims that this problem is not insurmountable if White church leaders were given cross-cultural training and by calling members of minority ethnic groups into the leadership, as suggested in Called to Lead (:24). Unlike Root (1994) and Moynagh (2004), Mark Surge does not address the question of how homogeneous groups in one church, or satellite churches of a larger church, can practise church unity. Finally, Sturge’s criticism of those who reject the homogeneous church model is pejorative: ‘Sadly, many of those objecting to the homogenous church principle have no idea of what it means to be on the margins of society; they have never joined the chorus for justice, or to plead for better treatment for vulnerable minority groups’ (2005:48).
In June 2006 a conference entitled Ethnic Churches in Europe – a Baptist Response was held in Prague. The papers presented at this conference were edited by Peter Penner (2006), director of the Institute of Contextual Missiology at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, and published under the same title. The conference looked at the issue of migration and its implications for the mission of Baptist churches in Europe (Peck 2006:10). One of the key questions was: Should Baptist churches plant mono- ethnic or multi-ethnic churches?
Kathryn Morgan (2006:193) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain reports that UK immigration has led to a situation where new mono-ethnic Baptist churches are developing, while second and third generation immigrants can be found in multi-ethnic churches. This development requires a response from the Baptist Union. Morgan writes: ‘In general we are glad to embrace this diversity and note that much of the growth in numbers of BUGB in the last decade is due to ethnic congregations, particularly black African congregations in London’ (:193).
However, Morgan argues (2006:193) that institutional racism within the Baptist Union and its member churches is a major problem, and might be the main reason why attempts to establish multi-ethnic churches have failed. The Baptist Union has taken action in several areas to eradicate racism and promote multi-ethnicity (:193-194). Thus, the Union decided that all committees and working groups must include at least one ethnic minority member (:194). Furthermore, it decided to train and accredit clergy from ethnic minorities in the same way as British-born Baptist clergy (:194). Equally, they insist that every Baptist Union minister takes part in a Racial Awareness programme (:193). A ‘Specialist Mission Networker’ was appointed to work with Portuguese speaking Baptist churches in the UK, and minority-ethnic Baptist churches have been encouraged to join the Baptist Union and its regional Associations (:194).
In his case study, Graham Brownlee (2006:199), a regional minister from Yorkshire, examines a variety of issues raised for Baptist churches in their attempts to welcome minority ethnic churches. He advises that where a Baptist Union church hosts a minority ethnic church it is important to draw up a document that clarifies the expectations and responsibilities of both churches. When discussing the recognition of minority ethnic clergy as Baptist ministers (:201-202) he identifies the need for ‘clear and flexible routes’ for the training and accreditation of these ministers, who often already have a wide experience in teaching, pastoral care and evangelism (:202). When minority ethnic churches wish to affiliate to the Baptist Union, he lists a number of issues for consideration including the following: Baptist principles, the meaning of congregational church government, cultural differences, and legal support in matters such as constitutions, insurance and child protection policies (:201).
Like Sturge (2005) and Root (1994) the representatives of the Baptist Union of Great Britain identify racism as an obstacle to the formation of multi-ethnic churches. However, their context is the integration of minority ethnic Christians into the regional and national structures of the Baptist Union.
1.4 Research methodology
1.4.1 Research designs and methods
In order to develop an effective mission strategy for the integration of Christian asylum seekers and refugees into the local Christian community in the UK four main sources are authoritative: (1) indigenous British churches that have experience with the integration of asylum seekers and refugees, (2) established minority ethnic churches in the UK, (3) secular migration theories, and (4) the biblical witness on the character and mission of the New Testament church.
To test the claim that these four sources are the foundations upon which a theology of refugee ministry can be achieved a variety of research designs and methods are employed. Two qualitative organisational studies form the heart of this research. One takes the form of a single case study while the other has a comparative design. The single case study investigates the integration of Iranian asylum seekers and refugees into a large indigenous British church with a multi-ethnic character. The multiple case study compares the life and mission of two longstanding minority ethnic churches in Britain. For both studies the research methods of participant observation and qualitative interviewing are applied.
In addition, secular immigration models are tested in the form of a scenario test. The aim of this testing-out research is to establish how far these models can be applied within the framework of Christian mission in general and Christian refugee ministry specifically.
Finally, a biblical exegesis is carried out in order to establish a biblical missiological mandate for Christian refugee ministry and to identify biblical principles for the integration of asylum seekers and refugees into the Christian community. The focus of this investigation is on five passages in the Book of Acts as well as on the Letter to the Galatians chapter two.
1.4.2 The empirical-theological praxis cycle
Since empirical research forms a significant part of this study the empirical-theological praxis cycle developed by Tobias Faix (2003&2006) is applied. Faix’s empirical-theological praxis cycle combines missiology and social sciences (Faix 2003:90-91). It is based on Johannes van der Ven’s intra-disciplinary approach to empirical theology (Faix 2006:49&79). According to van der Ven (1990:117-118) the methodology of the social sciences should become an integral part of practical theology. This means, that the concepts, methods and tools used by social scientists become the concepts, methods and tools of practical theologians.
The empirical-theological cycle developed by van der Ven (1990:138-179) consists of five steps: (1) development of the theological problem and goal, (2) theological induction, (3) theological deduction, (4) empirical-theological testing, and (5) theological evaluation. Each stage is characterised by a variety of actions (:138). The second step, theological deduction, for example, comprises the process of theological conceptualisation, the development of a theological conceptual model and the operationalisation of the theological concepts (:148).
In contrast to van der Ven (1990), Faix’s (2006:390) empirical-theological praxis cycle consists of six steps, all of which are closely interwoven which each other. These steps are: (1) research planning, (2) praxis field, (3) conceptualisation, (4) data collection, (5) data analysis, and (6) research report (:79-80). Together these six steps form the ‘big cycle’ of the praxis cycle, while each step constitutes a ‘small cycle’ in itself (:81). The ‘small cycle’ is characterised by either one, or by a combination, of the following three methodological processes: deduction, induction, and abduction (:82). The first two steps of the ‘big cycle’, or the research planning and praxis field, form the context of discovery, while conceptualisation, data collection and data analysis form the context of justification (:80). The last step forms the context of application.
Faix’s empirical-theological praxis cycle is a positive development of van der Ven’s cycle. Firstly, it is much more flexible than van der Ven’s approach. Whereas van der Ven’s cycle has two separate steps of theological deduction and induction (steps two and three), Faix gives room for deductive and inductive reasoning at every stage of the research process. Secondly, Faix (2006:69) takes Ziebertz’s criticism of Popper’s view on the context of discovery into account. For Popper it is not the context of discovery but the context of justification which is important (Rodman 1980:455). It is exactly this view that Faix (2006:69) criticises when he writes that the epistemological process has already begun in the stage of problem and goal development.
1.4.3 Research questions
The research questions used in this study are summarised below:
(1) Overall research question:
Should British churches and para-church organisations involved in refugee ministry help Christian asylum seekers and refugees establish their own independent refugee churches or integrate into indigenous British churches?
(2) Subsidiary research questions (Single case study)
Why should asylum seekers and refugees join an indigenous church in preference to forming a church of their own?
What strategies are employed to integrate asylum seekers and refugees into an indigenous church and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
Are there any hindrances impeding the integration of refugees into indigenous churches and if so, how can they be overcome?
(3) Subsidiary research questions (Comparative case study)
Why do people attend or join a minority ethnic church?
What is the mission of a minority ethnic church?
How does a minority ethnic church fulfil its mission?
(4) Subsidiary research questions (Testing-out research)
Which of the secular immigration models can be used for the development of a mission strategy for integrating refugees into the Christian community?
(5) Subsidiary research questions (Biblical exegesis)
If it is true that the multi-ethnic church is the New Testament standard model of church, as some scholars claim (e.g. DeYoung, Emerson, Yancey & Kim 2004:22), what biblical guide-lines are there that can be applied to the integration of asylum seekers and refugees into the church?
1.4.4 Limitations of the study
When considering this study and its contributions, it is important to recognise a number of contextual limitations. Firstly, both case studies are general in the sense that they research particular ethnic groups rather than individuals. Secondly, this study does not examine the differing motives for immigration of these groups. Thirdly, all churches researched are free churches, two of them in the evangelical tradition. Fourthly, the research took place in a conurbation and fails to address rural issues. Finally, the nature of both case studies was explicitly cross-cultural and demanded competency in cultural understanding.
1.4.5 Ethical principles and decisions
My research takes account of the fact that in qualitative research a variety of ethical dilemmas may arise (Bulmer 2003:55). To maintain ethical constancy I used the relevant guidelines laid down in the Statement of Ethical Practice for the British Sociological Association (BSA 2002). Thus, all interviewees were fully informed about the nature, purpose and length of the research. Furthermore, in order to protect the privacy of the Iranian research participants only pseudonyms have been used in research notes, the research journal and the interview transcriptions. All other interviewees declined the offer of pseudonyms because anonymity was not important to them. In consequence their names remain unchanged, as do the names of research locations. In addition, all interviewees were given the opportunity to comment on the main research findings.
The terms ethnicity, race and culture are widely used in everyday day speech (Ballard 2002:1). The precise meaning of these words, writes Ballard, ‘is still surrounded by clouds of conceptual confusion’ (:1). Daniel Hiebert (2005:235) calls ethnicity ‘one of the most difficult concepts in the social sciences to define’, and Steve Fenton (2003:50) points out that the words race and ethnic groups are used differently in different contexts. Thus, the use of these words changes both externally between different countries and internally within the same society (:50). Against this background, it is not surprising that terminology differs between authors when describing churches with a significant ethnic mix or ‘shared origins and traditions’ (Lincoln 2003:177). The most common of these terms are: multi-ethnic churches (e.g. Aadne 2006; Garriot 1996; Lupton 1996; Ortiz 1996) multi-racial churches (e.g. DeYoung, Emerson, Yancey, Kim 2004; Root 1994), multi-cultural churches (e.g. Law 1993; Rhodes 1998; Sheffield 2002; Woodley 2004), and intercultural churches (e.g. Brynjolfson & Lewis 2004). Correspondingly, churches which consist of people of the same ethnic group are variously called mono-racial (e.g. DeYoung, Emerson, Yancey, Kim 2004), mono-cultural (Woodley 2004), or mono-ethnic (e.g. Monney 2006).
For this study I have decided to use the term multi-ethnic churches for churches with a significant ethnic mix, unless authors who use different terminology are quoted. There are two reasons for this decision. Firstly, as Fenton (2003:50) points out, the term ethnic is the preferred term of British public discourse, though the media can use the words ethnic and race interchangeably. Secondly, ethnicity and culture may not necessarily be the same (Fenton 2003:20-21). Culture can be both narrower and wider than ethnic group (:21). It can be narrower in the sense that in every ethnic group different cultures can be found. An example of this is a community of people who share the same descent and traditions but who speak different languages and adhere to different religions (:21). But culture can also be wider in the sense that a specific culture can be found in different ethnic groups. The example that Fenton gives is that of religious cultures like Islam or Christianity which are present in many different ethnic groups around the globe (:21).
For a church that is made up of members from one ethnic minority the term minority ethnic church is used throughout this thesis. Minority ethnic churches that are made up of asylum seekers and refugees are called refugee churches.
1.6 Structure of the thesis
Chapter one of this thesis describes its research purpose and general research methodology. Further, it contains a survey of recent descriptive and discursive literature focussing on the integration of forced migrants into the British church and the range of models used to describe this process.
Chapters two to four explore the socio-political context of the study and the phenomena of globalisation, global migration, the refugee highway, asylum, and racism. The examination of these phenomena serves a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it underlines the relevance of the general research question, and secondly, it clarifies the key terms used in the study.
Chapters five to eight are concerned with the theological context of the study. Chapter five gives an overview of the theme of migration in the Old and the New Testament. Chapter six investigates the features of the New Testament church. Chapter seven presents and analyses recent Christian responses to forced migration. Chapter eight is concerned with missiological perspectives on migration in an age of globalisation. Collectively, these investigations deliver two outcomes: they help to clarify terms and establish a framework for the interpretation of the findings of the two organisational research projects.
The same is true for chapter nine, which explores the extent to which secular immigration models can be applied to Christian mission in general and Christian refugee ministry in particular. This part of the study takes the form of testing-out research. Chapter 9.1 describes methodology, while chapter 9.2 presents the findings of the scenario tests.
Chapter ten focuses on the two case studies which form the main part of the research work. It describes in detail the methodology applied, gives an analytical and theological description of the three research sites, and presents the findings of the case study research.
In chapter eleven the chief findings of the two case studies are discussed in the light of the results of the biblical investigation and the testing-out research.
Chapter twelve contains a summary of the chief findings, offers practical suggestions and recommendations for the integration of asylum seekers and refugees, and makes proposals for further research.
Chapter 2: Theories of globalisation
2.1 Introduction: Globalisation: A buzzword
Global-talk has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Today, it is common to call the world a global village, to use the term global warming to describe worldwide climate change and to speak of multinational companies as global players. Another of these global-speak words is globalisation. Globalisation has become not only a buzzword in political science, economics, sociology and other disciplines but also a catch-phrase for politicians, business people and journalists (Ellwood 2006:8; Osterhammel & Petersson 2005:vii). As a theoretical concept globalisation is fairly recent. Most of the literature on globalisation has been published within the last twenty years. The 1996 edition of the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics (McLean 1996), does not mention it at all, while the 2003 edition dedicates three pages to it (Hurrell 2003:223-225).
The concept of globalisation has become integral to discussions within the Christian Church in general and by those involved in mission specifically. Over recent years Christian ethicists, missiologists and mission practitioners have shown an increasing interest in globalisation and its meaning for the mission of the church. In 2002, for example, Peter Heslam (2002), director at the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity and lecturer in mission studies at Ridley Hall Cambridge wrote a booklet entitled Globalization – Unravelling the New Capitalism and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda (2002) from Seattle University published Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God. A year later, in June 2003 the Missions Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance met for a consultation on globalisation in Canada (LCWE 2003), and the 2004 Lausanne Forum for World Evangelization, which took place in Thailand, looked at the same subject under the title Opportunities and Threats to the Gospel Generated by Globalization (LCWE 2004). In Connections, the journal of the WEA Missions Commission, Richard Tiplady (2003a) offers the following definition of globalisation:
Globalization refers to increasing global interconnectedness, so that events and developments in one part of the world are affected by, have to take account of, and also influence in turn, other parts of the world. It also refers to an increasing sense of a single global whole (:11).
While there is agreement among scholars that globalisation is about an increasing global interdependence (Hurrell 2003:223), it must be said that this definition seems to be too simple as it does not say anything about the causes and consequences of globalisation let alone its chronology or scale. So how best can we define globalisation in terms which are relevant for this study?
2.2 Conceptualising globalisation
Globalisation is, as I. Clark (2002:16) from the Cambridge Centre of International Studies argues, not only a salient contemporary theme but also a much disputed one. The German sociologist U. Beck (2001:19) calls globalisation ‘the most rarely defined, the most nebulous and misunderstood’ keyword, and J.A. Scholte (2000:39) from the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation at Warwick University states: ‘[T]he only consensus about globalisation is that it is contested.’ According to Scholte (:15-16) there are five general conceptions of globalisation, i.e. internationalisation, liberalisation, universalization, westernisation and deterritorialization, whereas Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton (2003:2) distinguish between three main globalisation schools, namely the hyperglobalists, the sceptics, and the transformationalists. As it turns out both distinctions, as we will see, have much in common.
2.2.1 Hyperglobalists and the global free market
According to Held and his colleagues (Held, McGrew, Goldblatt & Perraton 2003:3-4) hyperglobalists see globalisation primarily as an economic phenomenon. They define it as a new era in the history of humankind which is dominated by a global economy, the emergence of institutions of global governance and the global diffusion and hybridization of national cultures. It is an age in which traditional cultures are replaced by a world-wide consumerist culture and in which the nation-state loses power and influence, since it becomes increasingly unable to control its borders, i.e. the movement of goods, money and services. In other words, hyperglobalists identify globalisation with economic liberalisation and universalization. The latter is defined by Scholte (2000:16) as ‘the process of spreading various objects and experiences to people at all corners of the world’. A typical example of a hyperglobalist definition of globalisation is that of G. Soros (2003:vii) who equates globalisation ‘with the free movement of capital and the increasing domination of national economies by global financial markets and multinational corporations’. Such an economic understanding of globalisation can also be found among Christian mission experts. R. Valerio (2003:15), a member of the Globalisation Working Group of the WEA Missions Committee, writes:
Economic globalisation works on the politics of trade liberalisation, privatisation, and financial market deregulation. It is believed that free trade between nations,…is the most effective way of increasing global wealth and lifting poorer countries out of their poverty.
And Valerio continues: ‘This global system only works where there is growth; thus, the economics of globalisation is profit-driven to the extreme’ (:15).
Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton (2003:3-4) identify different groupings within the hyperglobalist camp, namely neo-liberals and radicals, who share the belief in the existence of a global economy but who differ considerably in their evaluation of globalisation. While this is true, R. Gilpin (2000), a neo-liberal supporter of globalisation himself, goes a step further and differentiates between three perspectives in the debate over globalisation. For the proponents of economic globalisation, he argues, globalisation is leading to a more efficient use of scarce worldwide resources and thus to the economic benefit of all peoples (:296). The populists or nationalists in the industrialised countries, he writes, blame globalisation for high levels of unemployment, the destruction of their national cultures, the loss of national autonomy and the increase of crime, while the communitarians fear the domination of multinational companies and the ecological consequences of a global capitalism (:297-298). They believe that globalisation will create ‘a hierarchical international economic and political system composed of the rich core of developed economies and the exploited, impoverished periphery of less developed economies’ (:300). Examples for these two groups of opponents can be found in Britain too. There is the extremist, right-wing British National Party, whose former leader N. Griffin (2004) blames global capitalism for mass immigration, ethical decline and the loss of sovereignty. And there are others like M. Woodin and C. Lucas (2004:46), both members of the Green Party in England and Wales, who write about inequality and poverty in a global economy:
The gap between rich and poor, both between and within countries, is widening…The income gap between rich and poor has accelerated during the current period of rapid economic globalisation. The richest fifth of the world’s population had an income 30 times greater than that of the poorest fifth in 1960, rising to 60 times greater in 1990, and 74 times greater in 1997.
2.2.2 The Sceptics and the myth of globalisation
According to Christian ethicist and missiologist P. Heslam (2004) there ‘is a general consensus that contemporary economic globalization means the increasing integration of national economies into a global market’. The second school of globalisation which Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton (2003:5) call ‘the sceptics’ would certainly disagree with this statement. Like the hyperglobalists ‘the sceptics rely on a wholly economistic conception of globalization equating it primarily with a perfectly integrated global market’ (:5). In contrast to the hyperglobalist view, the sceptics doubt that such a globalised market actually exists, and they strongly disagree with the notion of the demise of the nation-state, as it has been most prominently argued by K. Ohmae (1996:5), who calls the traditional nation states ‘unnatural, even impossible, business units in a global economy’. Therefore, they consider globalisation in the hyperglobalist sense as a myth. Instead, most of them prefer to speak of globalisation as of ‘heightened levels of internationalization’ (Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton 2003:5). In essence, they regard the world economy as an international economy but not as a global, fully integrated one. It is rather an economy which is shaped by regional trading blocs.
Well known sceptics who have promoted this view are P. Hirst and G. Thompson as well as L. Weiss. In her book The Myth of the Powerless State, Weiss (1999:175) argues that the world today is undoubtedly much more connected than it used to be, but that the magnitude of change has been clearly overstated by the advocates of globalisation. With the exception of the money markets, Weiss writes, one cannot speak of a globalised economy. International trade, production and investment show no such tendencies (:187). Weiss admits that individual governments are under pressure due to the increasing internationalisation of the world economy. It is much harder for them to make and implement certain policies, but in contrast to the hyperglobalists she believes that governments are able to adjust to these changes and constraints and to continue to play an important role as an economic and political actor (:189, 212). Hirst and Thompson (2003:280), who share this view, put it this way:
An international society as an association of states cannot rely on supranational bodies to make and enforce laws but requires states that accept constitutional limitations above and below them… In this sense the state as the source and the respecter of binding rules remains central to an internationalized economy and society.
While Held and his colleagues are right that most sceptics, such as Hirst, Thompson and Weiss, understand globalisation first and foremost in terms of internationalisation, it must be pointed out that there are other sceptics who rather conceive it as westernisation. Scholte (2000:45) defines westernisation as a process through which ‘the world becomes western, modern and, more particularly, American’. A vivid description of this view is given by A. Shipman (2002:29) in his book The Globalization Myth, when he writes:
The ends of the earth aren’t far enough away to escape McDonald’s golden arches, Ford’s blue oval, Benetton’s united colours or Nike’s swoosh. If you ever find a bar not serving Heineken or a car not powered by Shell, you’re either in a Disney theme park or under the influence of Monsanto’s more exotic GM herbs.
2.2.3 Transformationalists and new spatial entities
The third approach to globalisation, mentioned by Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton (2003:7) is that of the transformationalists. The transformationalist school holds that globalisation ‘is a central driving force behind the rapid social, political and economic changes that are reshaping modern societies and world order’ (:7). Transformationalists regard globalisation as a long-term historical process, whose contemporary patterns of economic, political, ecological, technological, cultural and migratory flows are historically unique (:7). In contrast to the hyperglobalists, supporters of this school believe that there are new patterns of global stratification in which some countries, societies and communities become more and more integrated in a global world while others are increasingly pushed to the edge of a new world regime. Consequently, one can no longer speak of a classical North-South division but must recognise that North and South, First World and Third World can be found within most regions or major cities of the world (:7-8). M. Castells (2000:134) speaks of ‘global networks of value making and wealth appropriation’, to which people either belong or do not belong.
This reshaping of patterns of global stratification is closely linked with the concept of deterritorialization or superterritoriality, which Scholte (2001:14) defines as ‘a shift in geography whereby territorial places, territorial distances and territorial borders lose some of their previously overwhelming influence’. Like Scholte, Rosenau (2003:176) sees different processes of deterritorialization at work. In a world of satellite television, the internet and jet aircraft, the concept of territory as a bound land mass, he argues, is undergoing revision. It is increasingly questioned by the emergence of new spatial entities such as offshore banks or transnational organisations, which cannot be linked to a single geographic place (:176). In addition, Rosenau argues that these processes of deterritorialization have had different influences on peoples’ identities. On the one hand deterritorialization has encouraged some people to link themselves to transnational organisations or movements. On the other hand it has increased the sensitivities of others to their local communities or nations which they regard as their territorial home (:176). Rosenau concludes:
Thus, whereas the former have experienced a lessening of the salience of their historic links to territory, and instead have evolved business alliances, social movements, and a host of transborder networks, the latter are inclined to experience deterritorializing processes as threatening (:176-177).
In summary, there are two contradictory forces at work: one that fosters the development of global relations and one that works against this. Rosenau (2003:15) speaks of the integrating forces of globalisation and the fragmenting forces of localisation. Both, he argues, are interwoven with each other, they are products of one another.
2.2.4 Globalisation: An evaluation
Most hyperglobalists and sceptics understand globalisation first and foremost in economic terms. At the heart of their understanding lies the notion of fully integrated global free markets. Globalisation is seen as the process of integrating national economies into a global economy through international trade, investment and labour. While globalisation, conceived in such a way, is undoubtedly a comprehensible idea, it is also a problematic one. There are three main points of criticism.
Firstly, the conceptualisation of globalisation as a process of international economic integration through market forces is anything but new. The concept of free trade is indeed fairly old. It can be traced back to economists and philosophers such as Adam Smith (1723-1790), David Ricardo (1772-1823), and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). These early adherents of capitalism believed that trade flourishes best when it is left completely free of any state intervention (Koch 1992:134). Ricardo, for example argued, that every country should export those goods in which it has a comparative advantage and import those goods in which has a comparative disadvantage. As long as it does this it will gain from trade (Koch 1992:99-100). Consequently, there is no need for people today to speak of globalisation when what they really have in mind is economic liberalisation or internationalisation. The same is true for those who equate globalisation with universalization or westernisation. These, too, are not new concepts. Western colonialism and imperialism have been strongly criticised for more than a hundred years.
Secondly, to define globalisation as the process through ‘which the whole world becomes a single market’, as the Oxford Dictionary of Economics (Black 2003:197) does is to give a very narrow definition. Such an understanding of globalisation falls short of the various social, ecological, and technological changes we have seen in recent years. It presumes that there is only one economic process which produces interconnections between national economies, whereas there is a whole set of different processes which generate global interdependencies in other areas. A good example of another global process is the so-called greenhouse effect. An increased build up of carbon dioxide, it is argued, has led to a rise of global temperatures at an unprecedented rate (Humphrey 2003:225). One of the main reasons for this development is seen in the high levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the industrialised countries, such as the USA or the member states of the European Union (:225). Climate change models predict that this global warming is leading to rising sea levels, desertification and deforestation (:225).
Closely linked with this is the third criticism. Both hyperglobalists and sceptics consider globalisation as a straightforward process, which has its cause in capitalism and which will result either in the disappearance of the nation-state or the establishment of regional trading blocs. What both seem to overlook is that the process of globalisation is more complex than this. There are not only forces of global integration but also global forces of fragmentation at work. These forces of fragmentation express themselves in many different ways. Clark (2002:26) mentions ‘autarchy, unilateralism, disintegration, heterogeneity, and separation’. An example of this paradoxical character of globalisation is the attitude towards the English language. While English is becoming the lingua franca and many countries, such as China, recognise this and encourage their nationals to learn English, other countries, such as France, try to minimize the spread of English within their own boundaries.
The transformationalist school avoids these deficiencies of the hyperglobalists’ and sceptics’ approach. Proponents of this school recognise that globalisation is a complex process with multiple causes, dimensions, and interdependencies. Furthermore, they do not claim to know the exact outcome of this process but instead focus on the extent, intensity and speed of global economical, political and social changes. They also take the view that the traditional idea of territory has lost its importance. Given the fact that the debate on the nature of globalisation is ongoing, for the rest of this thesis a transformationalist view is adopted because of its openness and its emphasis on process.
2.3 Dimensions of globalisation
J.A Scholte (2000:50), a member of the transformationalist school, who understands globalisation as the rise of superterritoriality, distinguishes between different dimensions of globalisation or, as he calls them ‘transborder activities in contemporary social life’. These activities are related to communications, markets, production, money, finance, organizations, and social ecology, as well as consciousness (:51-54). When considering communications, for example, he mentions air transport, mass media, telecommunications and global publications (:51). He notes that due to global communications people are able to have almost immediate contact with one another anywhere in the world (:51). Of course, this is only true for those who have access to it and can afford it.
However, one aspect of globalisation which Scholte fails to mention is migration. In contrast, Rosenau (2003), Pellerin (1998) and others see migration as significant dimension of the contemporary globalisation process. Thus, Rosenau (2003:63) speaks of a ‘mobility upheaval’ that is currently taking place. By this he means a gigantic movement of people around the whole world which includes any movement ‘from business to professional travel, from tourism to terrorism, from political asylum to the search for jobs, from legal to illegal migration’ (:63). Pellerin (1998:81) admits that migration is not a new phenomenon but she, too, sees some unique aspects in present worldwide migratory flows. Many of today’s migrants, she argues, are both objects of change and agents of change. They are objects of change insofar as they are forced to move under deteriorating circumstances. And they are agents of change insofar as they actively take part in the transformation of societies (:81). Pellerin writes: ‘Their movement, and the conditions surrounding it, imply change in the organization of production, in the territoriality of societies, as well as in the social production of ideas and identities, both in regions of origin and destination’ (:81).
The next chapter substantiates the claim that migration in general and forced migration in particular are important aspects of globalisation.
Chapter 3: Globalisation and international migration
3.1 Defining migration and migrants
The Oxford Dictionary of Geography defines migration as ‘the movement of people from one place to another’ (Mayhew 1997:281). Such a movement can be voluntary or involuntary; it can be permanent or temporary (:281). Depending on whether such a change of residence involves the crossing of national boundaries or takes place solely within a certain country, one also has to distinguish between international and internal migration (:281). In this chapter the main focus is on international migration and forced migration.
There have been various attempts by migration scholars to classify international migration and international migrants (Böcker & Havinga 1998:2). Some of these classifications are based on the reasons for migration, the motives migrants have or a combination of both (:2). Thus, W. Petersen (1970:55-63) suggests five broad classes of migration: primitive, forced, impelled, free, and mass migration. Others, such as Kliot (2000:177), classify international migrants according to their legal status in the receiving country. Kliot distinguishes between legally admitted permanent immigrants, legally admitted temporary migrants, illegal migrants, asylum seekers and refugees (:177-178).
The terms refugee and asylum seeker have wide variations in usage. Refugees can be understood in a very broad sense as people who are in flight to freedom and safety; who try to escape from intolerable conditions or personal circumstances (Goodwin-Gill 1996:3). Other definitions are more specific. The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which was formally adopted in July 1951 and amended in 1967, perceives refugees as any person 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 or her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him- or herself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it (UNHCR undated:16).
Convention refugees, i.e. refugees as defined by the 1951 Convention, are protected by the principle of non-refoulement. Non-refoulement prohibits the removal of refugees to a territory where their lives or freedom are at risk because of the reasons mentioned in the Convention definition (Lauterpacht & Bethlehem 2003:89). This protection is granted to every Convention refugee whether he or she has been formally recognised as a refugee or not (:116). What the Convention does not contain is the right to asylum (Gorman 1993:44). Only states have the right to grant or to deny asylum, whereas refugees have only the right to seek it (:44). Refugees who have filed a formal request for asylum but who have not yet received a positive decision, i.e. the formal recognition of being a refugee, are called asylum seekers (Böcker & Havinga 1998:3).
The 1951 United Nations Convention gives a very clear definition of who a refugee is, but this definition is not unproblematic. Thus, it restricts refugee status to those who flee from persecution. People who escape to a foreign country from other conditions, such as war, civil war, natural catastrophes or inadequate economic living conditions are not covered by this definition (Dummett 2001:32). The same is true for so-called displaced persons, i.e. people who are forced to leave their home but stay within the borders of their home country. Sztucki (1999:58) identifies three other deficiencies of the Convention definition. Firstly, he points out that the definition does not say anything about the agents of persecution. Because of this, he argues, some signatory parties to the Convention ‘have often interpreted ‘persecution’ as related exclusively to state organs’ (:58). Secondly, Sztucki writes, the status of family members of refugees is not reflected in the definition (:58). And last but not least, he argues that the concept of ‘membership of a particular group’ is very vague (:59). Partly in response to these criticisms two more generous definitions were formulated by the Organization of African Unity in 1969 and the Organization of American States in 1985 (Hathaway 1991:16-20). The latter defines refugees as persons who have fled their country because their lives, safety, or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violations of human rights or other circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order (quoted by Hathaway 1991:20). In the same way as there are different definitions of forced migrants there are different attempts to explain the migration phenomenon.
3.2 Causation theories of migration
There are many different migration theories, such as the neoclassical economic theory of migration or the neo-Marxist dependency theory, but the idea that migration is affected by so-called push and pull factors is still the most widely accepted approach among migration researchers today (Weeks 1998:238). According to this theory, there are two kinds of pressures, one causing people to leave their country of origin and another drawing them into the country of destination (Overbeek 1982:162). While J.I. Clarke (1980:140-141) differentiates between demographic, economical and political push and pull factors, others, such as Petersen (1970:55), also specify ecological push forces, such as floods, droughts and earthquakes. Other push forces include lack of employment, poverty, or persecution that is politically, racially or religiously motivated. Employment opportunities, political stability or good educational and health facilities are seen as significant pull factors (Black 2003:298-299). When we compare these forces with each other it becomes obvious why Kliot (2000:176) writes that the pull forces ‘which attract migrants to a certain destination are very often the result of forces opposite to the “push”’. J. Galtung’s (1998) version of push and pull theory is expressed in terms of direction of human migration. Thus, he identifies three general directions of human mass migration: from low to high human-rights implementation regions, from low to high economic well-being regions, and from low to high cultural identity regions (:177). In other words, there are not only political and economic factors of migration but also cultural factors of migration, such as language or customs.
When considering refugee movements, Jones (1990:237-239) argues that there are five main intermediate causes, namely wars of independence, international conflicts, internal revolutions and civil wars, ethnic conflicts, and the partition of states. Current examples are the war of independence in Chechnya, the civil war in Sudan, and the oppression of the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Jones asserts that these five intermediate causes of worldwide refugee movements are determined by global economic and political conditions (:239). In addition, he claims that there are three major fundamental conditions. Firstly, many developing countries are politically and economically weak, because of the political and economic underdevelopment in their colonial times. Many of the borders of these countries are arbitrary and ignore the distribution of ethnic groups. Furthermore, many colonial powers often favoured a certain ethnic group (:239). This still causes tensions within countries in Africa or Asia. The recent war in Eritrea and the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi are examples for this. Secondly, Jones points out that internal fights are often stirred up by hostile neighbouring countries or by political super-powers that pursue their own interests (:239). Finally, poor economic conditions and environmental problems, such as droughts, aggravate internal conflicts (:240).
The strength of theses migration theories is that they attempt a more complete explanation of the conditions that cause people to leave one country and to move to another. What these theories do not do is to explain certain patterns of migration and their interconnections with global economic, social or technological changes. Furthermore, they do not take into account the role that family and friendship ties or ties between the country of origin and the receiving country can have for choosing a particular destination. Finally, they do not say anything about the effects of migration. In the next two paragraphs we will have a closer look at these issues.
3.3 Effects of international migration
There is widespread agreement among migration scholars that international migration has profound economic, demographic and social consequences, both for the country of origin and the country of destination (cf. Castles & Miller 2003:92; Overbeek 1982:165). Our discussion of the consequences of international migration will be limited to the effects upon the receiving country with the main focus on integration and ethnic minority formation.
Ogden (2000:504) points out that the growth and composition of a country is determined by migration as well as by fertility and mortality. International migration increases the population and leads to changes in the sex-age composition of the receiving country (Overbeek 1982:166-168). Another significant demographic effect is the increase of the ethnic diversity in receiving countries, when immigrants are distinct from the indigenous population. Differentials include many factors: physical appearance, customs, traditions, language, political and religious convictions, and levels of education (Castles & Miller 2003:14). UK immigration since World War II has led to a greater spectrum of ethnic diversity in British society. Historically Britain’s mono-culture had remained unaffected by immigration (Harris 2003:17). With the exception of 100,000 Huguenots from France and 150,000 Jews from various European countries, Britain had not seen large scale immigration for several centuries (:17). Today 7.9 per cent of the population belong to an ethnic minority group, while 92 per cent of the population are White (Office for National Statistics 2004a). The largest of the ethnic minority groups are Indians (1.8 per cent), followed by Pakistanis (1.3 per cent), Black Caribbean (1 per cent), Black African (0.8 per cent) and Chinese (0.4 per cent) (Office for National Statistics 2004a).
While it is true that most migration leads to greater ethnic diversity in receiving countries as a whole, it is also true that immigration impacts some more than others, depending upon their geographic location and social class. It is important to recognise that most statements on immigration depict a macro view of the receiving country. In the United Kingdom the non-White population is concentrated in London and other large urban centres such as Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford (Office for National Statistics 2003). Rural areas, such as Devon or Cumbria, are far less affected by immigration and retain their homogeneous character.
Castles and Miller (Castles & Miller 2003:32) distinguish between the short-term and the long-term effects of immigration on the societies of receiving countries. They assert that the impact of immigration becomes more and more visible at the end of the migration process when migrants settle permanently and create discrete identifiable groups. The long-term effects, they argue, depend on the immigration policy of the government and the general attitude of society towards immigrants (:32). Castles and Miller write:
At one extreme, openness to settlement, granting of citizenship and gradual acceptance of cultural diversity may allow the formation of ethnic communities, which are seen as part of a multicultural society. At the other extreme, denial of the reality of settlement, refusal of citizenship and rights to settlers, and rejection of cultural diversity may lead to the formation of ethnic minorities, whose presence is widely regarded as undesirable and divisive (:32).
Castles and Miller (2003:34) also assert that creating boundaries between social groups is a two way process: self-definition and other-definition. Other-definition means that a group is assigned a subordinate position in society by dominant groups. Self-definition means that the people of a group feel that they belong together because of a common culture, language, history or religion (:34).
Castles and Miller (2003) emphasise the fact that national governments and other social agents play a significant role in incorporating immigrants into the social, economic, and political life of the country. Their response is crucial for the success of immigration. If immigrants are seen as a threat by the indigenous population and are refused the benefits and rights the indigenous population have, they will be less willing to change their own identity. M. Weiner (1996:53) comments: ‘As long as the host culture regards immigrants as permanent aliens and denies citizenship, then migrants will cling to their existing identities’. But in contrast to Castles and Miller, Weiner sees ethnic minorities or enclaves not necessarily as something negative or dangerous. Enclaves, she argues, can be both havens which help migrants with their adjustment to their new lives and half-way stations which enable them to move into the larger society of the host country (:53). It is only when enclaves become permanent ghettos that they can lead to conflicts in society. Significantly, Weiner recognises that the commitment of immigrants to their new society is a crucial factor for their successful integration (:46). Again, this is in contrast to Castles and Miller (2003) who put the onus for integration success solely on the government and the host population. Other research indicates a spectrum of immigrant attitudes towards their host country, both positive and negative (Rosenau 2004:42-43). Immigrants who value the host culture but not the culture they come from, seek to be assimilated as quickly as possible. Alternatively, when they value their heritage above that of their host culture they tend to follow a separatist strategy. It follows that immigrants should not be viewed stereotypically as a homogeneous group. Rosenau (2004:43) affirms that: ‘Depending on the circumstances of the communities into which they move and the orientation they bring with them, immigrants can vary considerably’.
3.4 Trends in international migration: The globalisation of migration
In his book Ethnicity Steve Fenton (2003:118) writes that there is a consensus among migration commentators that in the last few decades migration has become globalised. Woodward (2003:145) and Dwyer (2003:290), for example, see current migration movements as an integral part of globalisation while Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton (2003: 283) call human migration the most ubiquitous form of globalisation. M. Tehranian (2004:14) speaks of the ‘third wave of globalized migration’ and Castles and Miller (2003:1) state that ‘international population movements constitute a key dynamic within globalization’. A similar view is expressed by Christian mission expert Rose Dowsett (2003:148) who comments: ‘While migration is as ancient as the human race, globalisation has intensified, diversified, and fed the movement of people’. The claim that current migratory flows and patterns are a significant aspect of globalisation requires further analysis. The World Migration 2003 report of the International Organization for Migration (IOM 2003) seeks to justify this assertion by stressing four characteristics of current international migration.
3.4.1 Extent of migration
Firstly, the IOM (2003:27) points out that migration today is more extensive than it was in the past. There are more countries of origin, countries of transit and countries of destination involved in international migration than ever before. For example, many Eastern European countries that were closed for decades to major migration have in recent years become countries of substantial transit, emigration, or immigration. The country which absorbed more immigrants from Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain than any other country was Germany. Between 1989 and 2002 Germany received 2.72 million East European emigrants (Dietz 2004). A more recent trigger for emigration push has been the extension of the European Union in 2004. Thus, more than 91,000 nationals from the new EU member states joined the UK workforce between May and September 2004 (Home Office 2004a). Besides this increase in voluntary emigration from Eastern Europe many Eastern European states have also seen an increasing number of refugees and asylum seekers. While in the 1990s there had been hardly any asylum seekers in Eastern Europe, in 2002 8,461 people applied for asylum in the Czech Republic, 6,412 in Hungary, 5,153 in Poland and 3,152 in Slovakia (UNHCR 2004a:47-49).
3.4.2 Ties between sending and receiving countries
Secondly, the IOM (2003) argues that traditional ties between sending countries and receiving countries are gradually losing their importance. These ties are more and more replaced by human networks. The report says:
New networks are creating circuits that no longer have any traditional ties with the countries of destination: Iranians in Sweden, Romanians in Germany, Vietnamese in Canada and Australia, Senegalese in the United States, Bangladeshi or Brazilians in Japan’ (:27-28).
While this is true for voluntary migration, closer examination shows that traditional ties between countries of origin and countries of destination seem still to play an important role in the area of forced migration. A recent research into the asylum migration to the European Union (Böcker & Havinga 1998) shows that colonial and historical ties are an important factor when it comes to the choice of destination. Colonial ties, the research shows, result almost always in overrepresentation, i.e. the number of asylum seekers from former colonies applying for asylum in a former mother country is higher than the number applying in other EU countries (:38). A. Böcker and T. Havinga, who carried out this research for the European Union, have identified three main reasons for this phenomenon: mastery of the language, familiarity with the culture, and an idealised view of the former mother country (:52).
3.4.3 New forms of migration
Thirdly, the IOM (2003) argues that new forms of migration have emerged. While in the past the majority of migrants were poor, today the number of qualified middle class migrants is increasing (:30). Figures for immigration to the United States support this. The World Bank (2003:72) confirms the professionalisation of immigration to the U.S.A:
Unlike 100 years ago, when peasants made up 80 percent of migrants, today professionals, skilled workers, and those with some university training make up more than half the migrants into the United States. The lowest skilled workers come from Mexico, the highest skilled workers from Asia and Africa.
Another trend in contemporary migration identified by the IOM (2003) is the feminisation of migration. More and more migrants, it argues, are women, many of them single women (:6). However, recent research carried out by the United Nations Population Division (Zlotnik 2003) notes that the worldwide portion of female migrants today (48.8 per cent in 2000) is only slightly higher than it was 50 years ago (46.6 per cent in 1960). The same appears to be true for the number of female refugees. About half of the current world refugee population are female and half are male. There is no proof for claims that up to 80 per cent of all refugees are women (Spijkerboer 2000:16-17). Consequently, it is doubtful whether one can really speak in general terms of a feminisation of world migration in line with the IOM report. H. Zlotnik (2003) from the United Nations Population Division points out that one must rather differentiate between female migrants from developed countries and those from developing countries. Thus, 49 million female migrants are currently living in developed countries, while 32 million can be found in developing countries. In the developed countries of Europe and Northern America they often outnumber men among international migrants, whereas in developing countries female migrants are still outnumbered by male migrants. In 2000 52.4 per cent of all migrants in Europe were women compared to 42.8 per cent in Northern Africa (Zlotnik 2003). Even if the term ‘the worldwide feminization of migration’ is unjustified, female migrants continue to play a major role in migration. Zlotnik concludes: ‘Clearly, female migration is a key constituent of global migration’ (2003).
- Quote paper
- Dr. Thorsten Prill (Author), 2017, Global Mission on our Doorstep, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/350540