chapter  3
18 Pages

Refugees’ Encounters with Christianity in Everyday Life

WithBereket Loul, John Willott, Simon Robinson

With the rise of ‘super-diversity’, the dynamic mix of ethnicities and cultures characteristic of many large cities (Vertovec 2007) and the postmodern era, Christian identity in the West seems to be increasingly less clear. The monopoly of state religion is itself hard to sustain given the diversity even within the Church of England. It is hard for a particular religion or denomination to claim core spiritual and moral values when these are perceived differently within the institution and when general humanist values seem similar if not the same. (Robinson 2008) In turn, these issues raise many questions. What does belonging involve in the context of cultural and religious diversity? How are different narratives handled in the development of identity, meaning and purpose? One test of such questions is to see how newcomers react to this in their pastoral, spiritual and cultural journey. In the case of refugees, especially, one might expect a strong desire for clear belief to provide the basis of coping in an unfamiliar and diverse society.