This statement on xenophobia from Cape Western Quakers is issued in response to the letter from the SACC posted on 27 February 2017.
Statement on Xenophobia
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) notes with deep and prayerful concern the increasing and rising manifestations of xenophobia in South Africa. In an ever diverse world, we are called upon to exercise compassion towards people to whom many regard as “foreign” and “other”.
Our Testimonies frame some of our principles. In this regard we refer to our testimonies to Peace and Equality. These challenge us, as a faith community to promote these concepts in our daily lives.
We urge South Africans to use prayerful and personal tools of introspection, to examine hearts and minds in exactly how we live out our lives as expressions of faith, in regard to our attitudes and behaviour, prejudicial towards foreigners, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and “others”!
Christ’s call to be “peacemakers” (Matthew 5 – The Beatitudes) and other Scriptural references exhort us not only to be peacemakers, but to welcome the foreigner into our homes with the idea as if the stranger is a messenger (angel) from God (Luke 10:17, Colossians 3:11 and Romans 12:13). These references are to remind us of the spirit of our intentions towards others.
We are reminded of our Testimonies and how to use these in our commitment to peace and equality in addressing xenophobia.
We hold this situation in our country in the Light!