Welcoming the Stranger: The Canadian Church and the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 09:31 by Christine McKinlay
Since the PSR program was founded in 1978, the Canadian church has portrayed a major role in the program. Many of the first sponsored refugees converted to the branch of Christianity that their sponsors practiced. Conversion was a mechanism for refugees to gain social capital and integrate into Canadian society. Today, sponsored refugees are able to tap into the rich diversity of religious communities found in urban Canadian centres and therefore are less likely to feel pressured to join their Christian sponsors in worship. This study demonstrates how the Canadian church has influenced the formation of the PSR program. The study provides an analysis of the role of Christianity in the identity formation of sponsored refugees and the inter-faith relationship between Christian sponsors and non-Christian refugees.