The people of the ancient Middle East practiced radical hospitality, and the Israelites were no exception: “When a stranger sojourns in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself” (Leviticus 19:33-34). The medieval church offered asylum to all those who sought it, as long as criminals confessed their sins. They were given 40 days to decide whether to stand trial or go into permanent exile. Today churches are bringing back this Judeo-Christian tradition, and about 800 of them are now offering refuge to those who need protection.
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