Crossing Borders: Transnational Sanctuary, Social Justice, and the Church

Jacqueline Maria Hagan

in Religion on the Edge

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199938629
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980758 | DOI:
Crossing Borders: Transnational Sanctuary, Social Justice, and the Church

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Throughout the Christian era, the church has been recognized as an institution providing sanctuary to those in need. In the contemporary era, sanctuary for migrants in the US has formally manifested itself twice: first in 1981 with the founding of the Central American Sanctuary Movement, and most recently in 2007 with the establishment of the New Sanctuary Movement. Both of these movements were motivated by faith and founded on political and religious principles to challenge US policies, educate Americans, and serve the needs of non-state-sanctioned refugees and undocumented migrants from Latin America who were either fleeing civil strife in their home countries and seeking refuge in the US or fighting deportation orders from the US government. This chapter introduces a third important, but less known, sanctuary movement, the transnational religious network that has emerged since the mid-1990s to challenge and question the morality of state border policies, and protect and serve migrants on the increasingly dangerous journey north from Central America and Mexico to the United States.

Keywords: Latin American migrants; Central American Sanctuary Movement; New Sanctuary Movement; transnational religious network; state border policies

Chapter.  9626 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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