The city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania is “America’s refugee capital” as the BBC recently reported. The town has made headlines in recent years for its widespread, generous acceptance of refugees — many of whom are from Syria. Lancaster has, of course, very deep Anabaptist roots. It was a common settling place for Mennonite and Amish families beginning in the 18th century. Could this Anabaptist heritage be credited for Lancaster’s radical acceptance of refugees? If so, what lessons might we learn from Lancaster’s witness of love in this time of divisiveness, nationalism, and fear?
The New York Times published this story in December about Lancaster’s preparations to receive more Syrian refugee families: A Joyful Bustle to Get Ready for Guests: Syrian Refugees
Also, the BBC shared this video report of Lancaster earlier this month: Lancaster, Pennsylvania: America’s Refugee Capital