“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?”
The ‘hostile environment’ is a web of government policies designed to make life so difficult for people who cannot prove they have the right to live in the UK that they will choose to leave. The hostile environment deliberately inflicts destitution, encourages discrimination, and thrives on distrust. Our four Churches are calling for an end to the hostile environment.
Destitution, Discrimination and Distrust:
the web of the hostile environment
The hostile environment is inhumane because it deliberately inflicts destitution.
The hostile environment is discriminatory, and encourages xenophobia and racial profiling.
The hostile environment builds a culture of suspicion and distrust.
It is time to challenge the hostile environment and to promote a more hospitable environment. We invite churches, church groups and individuals actively to challenge the hostile environment.
This Bible study on welcoming the stranger aims to help church members engage with some of the biblical ideas around society and immigration.
Welcoming the Stranger Bible Study
This resource is designed for youth groups to explore what we mean by ‘the hostile environment’ and what a Christian response might be:
Hostile Environment youth resource
Here are some poems and prayers you can use in your personal or collective reflection.
We believe the hostile environment should be dismantled. A first step for the Government would be a full and independent review of immigration policy and practice, to examine the damaging effect the policies of the hostile environment are having on the whole of society.
Contact your MP explaining why you think the policies of the hostile environment must be reviewed and dismantled.
This letter could be a helpful starting point for writing to your MP. Conversations with or letters to MPs will be strengthened if you are able to reflect upon your own experience of the hostile environment or the experience of those connected to your church’s community.
Creating a Welcoming Environment
JPIT has been campaigning for an end to the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policies which are causing destitution, discrimination and distrust in our society. But how can our churches play a part in creating a more welcoming environment for migrants?
We explored this through a series of blogs and poems, sharing personal experiences of church projects and services, and thinking about what creating a welcoming environment would look like.
Find these resources here:
Tell your Story
It may be that you have been affected by the hostile environment. Or perhaps your church is involved in supporting people through offering help to asylum seekers or recent migrants. Maybe you can share ideas about building a more hospitable environment.
Tell your story. We’d love to hear from you. We will safeguard the confidentiality of any sensitive information. You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can get involved in the conversation online using the hashtag #EndHostility
Take this opportunity to engage in conversations within your church or your community about the hostile environment. What is your experience of hostility and hospitality? How do we balance immigration control and welcoming the stranger? How does language affect how we think? Do
you feel drawn to repent personally or corporately for being complicit in a culture of suspicion or distrust in our society? How can we work to build a hospitable society?