Five Theses on the Political-Theological Foundation of Church Asylum
by Benedikt Kern
Human rights did not just fall from the sky, but had to and must be fought for by those who are not granted them…This includes the unwritten human right to global freedom of movement. Solidarity is directed primarily at those who are enslaved and/or who, in the struggle for liberation, are working to overcome unjust social conditions.
The right to freedom of movement can be justified on the basis of universal dignity and an egalitarian view of humanity. Paul makes it clear that there is no longer “Jew, nor Greek, neither servant nor free, neither man nor woman” (Gal 3:28), but that there are common rights and autonomy for all. To grant or deny access to a territory according to nationality thus contradicts the biblical understanding of man as part of a “common house” (Pope Francis).thesis: Every deportation is an encroachment on the legitimate autonomy of people, especially those who are threatened with particular hardships in certain places. For this reason, church asylum is a necessary human rights practice that takes its own exodutical tradition seriously and already anticipates in an exemplary way that people can, for good reasons, independently determine their whereabouts, since this would also affect their humanity.