The Christmas Story is Not about a Refugee Family


It’s shocking to learn how ignorant people are about the Bible. Joseph and Mary were neither homeless nor refugees. Mary went to live with her cousin Elizabeth upon hearing about her pregnancy and “stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home” (Luke 1:56). Presumably her parents owned a home and did not throw her out when they learned of her pregnancy.

An edict from the centralized Roman government forced Joseph and Mary to spend time and money to return to their place of birth to register for a tax (Luke 2:1-7). Their place of birth – Bethlehem – was in Israel which was occupied by the Romans. They were not fleeing persecution.

Typical of governments that make laws without considering the consequences, there was not enough housing for traveling citizens.

The fact that “there was no room in the inn” (Luke 2:7) did not make them homeless or refugees any more than a family that takes a trip is by definition homeless when they encounter a “no vacancy” sign or refugees because there is not adequate shelter.
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