This presentation was given by Karen Lauterbach at the Refugee Hosts International Conference. The paper is about refugee-refugee hosting in a faith-based context and examined how refugee churches hosting refugees invoke ideas of compassion and sacrifice in these hybrid forms of hosting.

‘A Refugee Pastor in a Refugee Church’: Refugee-Refugee Hosting in a Faith-Based Context

by Karen Lauterbach, University of Copenhagen.

The paper looks particularly at Congolese churches in Kampala, Uganda and how hosting is practiced and conceptualised in everyday displacement encounters. An important number of Congolese refugees who arrive in Uganda seek to settle and find protection in urban areas such as Kampala, and small refugee churches play a crucial role in this process. The paper approaches refugees both as products of displacement and as responses to displacement. Moreover, it takes the perspective of refugee experiences, and provides insight into a religious refugee institutional setting that is momentary and volatile and yet constitutes the primary host and refuge for many displaced people in urban areas. The paper analyses hybrid forms of accommodating and hosting refugees that take place in a faith-based context and discusses what the implications of this are for how guest and host as categories are perceived. This includes a discussion of how hosting and hospitality is related to ideas of compassion and sacrifice. The paper also reflects on how we can approach refugee-refugee hosting as a community response to displacement, which is both anchored to a particular site, but also connected to wider transnational networks of displaced people.

You can read the full blog post relating to Karen’s research, here.


If you found this piece of interest please listen to or read the recommended posts below:

Listen to:

Refugee Hosts’ Co. I, Dr. Anna Rowlands, on BBC Radio 4, Immigration & Religion: A Sunday Programme Special

Or read:

Carpi, E.  (2018) Does faith-based aid provision always localise aid?

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2018) Local Communities and Contextualising the Localisation of Aid Agenda

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) Refugee-Refugee Relationality: Hospitality and ‘Being With’ Refugees

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2017) Gender, Religion and Humanitarian Responses to Refugees

Jayawickrama, J. and Rehman, B. (2018) Before defining what is local, let’s build the capacities of humanitarian agencies”

Kidwai, S. and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2017) Seeking Evidence to Provide Protection: How Can Local Faith Communities Support Refugees?

Reyes, D. (2018) In God We Trust: Faith communities as an asset to refugee youth in the United States

Rowlands, A. (2018) Faith and Displacement Series. Introducing the Series.

Rowlands, A.  (2018) Turkey – Crossroads for the Displaced

Rowlands, A. (2017) Hannah Arendt: On Displacement and Political Judgement

Wagner, A-C. (2018) “There are no missionaries here!” – How a local church took the lead in the refugee response in northern Jordan

Zbeidy, D. (2017)  Widowhood, Displacement and Friendships in Jordan


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