But a second tradition, American Christianity, has its own self-examination to conduct. The largest humanitarian disaster of our time — involving 4 million Syrian refugees and 7.6 million internally displaced — has mainly befallen Muslims. The response? Charitable giving by Americans to international causes has gone down for two consecutive years. Some Republican presidential candidates seem indifferent to the plight of refugees, and even some evangelical leaders have joined them.
To respond to the AIDS crisis, American Christians had to overcome a belief that the disease was deserved. To respond to the Syrian refugee crisis, Christians must overcome their discomfort with Islam and their belief that conflict among Muslims is none of their concern.
Is the Christian faith merely a cover for tribalism? Or will it demonstrate its essence in service to the refugees of another faith who did nothing to deserve their fate?