I Belong: Bible Reflections on Statelessness is a series of twelve studies being released by the World Council of Churches during Advent.
“Christians awaiting the advent of the Lord and the reign of God are invited in this season and in light of the scriptures to assay our lives and lifestyles, to identify with the vulnerable and marginalized among us, and to search anew for ways to incarnate the reign of God and the teaching of Jesus in our personal relationships and social structures.”
The first reflection – Towards a Theology of Statelessness – was written by the retired Anglican bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Duleep de Chickera on “the radical edge” of the biblical text as it relates to stateless people.
WCC programme executive Semegnish Asfaw commissioned and edited the studies. He reminds readers that “roughly ten million persons in the world are stateless”.
“Stateless people – that is, sisters and brothers who have been marginalized and rendered vulnerable because they lack any legal link to a state – are among those communities on whose struggles the pilgrimage of justice and peace aims to shed light, bringing them back to the centre.”
The second study – God and Statelessness – was written by Hans Ucko (an ordained minister in the Church of Sweden who worked at WCC on interreligious relations and dialogue between 1989 and 2008). He draws on the experience of his father fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938 and then living alien and stateless in Sweden.