Back in August, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column titled “Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl.” It begins thus:
AMSTERDAM — On April 30, 1941, a Jewish man here in Amsterdam wrote a desperate letter to an American friend, pleading for help emigrating to the United States.
“U.S.A. is the only country we could go to,” he wrote. “It is for the sake of the children mainly.”
A volunteer found that plea for help in 2005 when she was sorting old World War II refugee files in New York City. It looked like countless other files, until she saw the children’s names.
“Oh my God,” she said, “this is the Anne Frank file.” Along with the letter were many others by Otto Frank, frantically seeking help to flee Nazi persecution and obtain a visa to America, Britain or Cuba — but getting nowhere because of global indifference to Jewish refugees.
The point of the column is that we’re now making the same mistake with Syrian refugees attempting to escape ISIS that we made with Jews seeking to flee the Nazi’s. As Christians, we are called to learn from the mistakes of the past and do better. The Bible’s teachings on refugees (such as Leviticus 19:33-44) are still applicable.