Sanctuary Is an Integral Part of Human Nature

People Have Always Offered Shelter to the Stranger in Need

Since Donald Trump’s election, I’ve had to change the focus of the talks I give at churches, community events, universities, schools, and bookshops about sanctuary and asylum.

I used to take audiences on a 125,000-year tour of these two venerable institutions. I’d tell them about bonobos, chimps, and baboons giving sanctuary to members of enemy primate communities; about the ancient custom of seeking sanctuary by touching the garment or body of a powerful priest or ruler; about 1,000 years of church sanctuary in England and other countries; about the Underground …