The Church in Exile

I Pe 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen

Peter is writing to Christians who have been scattered all over the word because of persecution.  People forced to move …to make a new start in a foreign land.  And to further complicate things, just the fact that they were Christian caused others to treat them as strangers.  They didn’t belong!

The refugees in Ukraine seem so far away.  The refugees in the Sudan seem so remote and pitiful our mind blocks them out.  The stories of refugees coming from Mexico, and Honduras, and Venezuela are so controlled by politicians that we don’t know what to believe about them.  We hurt for them, we want the best for them, but we also want them to be law abiding.

A refugee group that most of you can relate to are the Cajuns.   Having fled religious persecution in France, the Acadians ended up living in Nova Scotia for around 150 years.  They settled between important English and French colonies. Although they tried to remain neutral, they became prime victims of the two countries. Internal strife and never ending war with the British paralyzed the growth of the Acadian Colony.  There were British attacks in 1613, 1654, 1690, and 1710. There was King Williams War in 1689-1697 and Queen Anne’s War in 1702-1713. In 1753 the governor tried to force the Cajuns to pledge their unconditional allegiance to England.  If they rejected the oath, their property and possessions were confiscated. Between 1755 and 1765 the mental and physical anguish became so great some sought to go back to France,  and others decided to fight for a new life in a new land…their land.  The latter group arrived in N. Orleans in 1765.  Louisiana was now owned by Spain, but Frenchmen were still in control of the administration. “It soon became apparent to the officials that the primary occupations of these people were agriculture and husbandry”, so the first 231 refugees were sent to what is now St. Martinville.

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