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Refuge Reimagined

The plight of the Tamil family from Biloela makes us ask: could we do refugee politics differently?

The plight of the Tamil family from Biloela makes us ask: could we do refugee politics differently?

The story of the medical evacuation of four-year-old Tharnicaa Murugappan to a Perth hospital from detention on Christmas Island has struck a nerve in the Australian community. Tharnicaa, her sister Kopika, and their parents Priya and Nades are facing deportation to Sri Lanka after Priya and Nades were found not to be genuine refugees.

The family’s plight has shone a spotlight on Australia’s deliberately harsh policies of detaining asylum seekers. But their former community in Biloela, central Queensland, is campaigning that the family be allowed to stay in Australia. Politicians and personalities from across the political spectrum have also joined the cause. It seems that this Tamil family are helping Australians reimagine the kind of welcome the nation might offer to vulnerable people.

This Refugee Week, we bring you an interview with Mark and Luke Glanville, two brothers who’ve written a book called Refuge Reimagined: Biblical Kinship in Global Politics.

Mark is an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, and pastored a church in East Vancouver that welcomed refugees to be part of a community called Kinbrace. Luke is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Australian National University.

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Refuge Reimagined: Biblical Kinship and Global Politics

The community of Kinbrace