Introduction: Faith-based humanitarianism in contexts of forced displacement
Despite an overall paucity of literature, the relationship between religious identity, belief and practice on the one hand, and processes of forced migration on the other, has received increasing attention in the 2000s.1 Over the past decade, a number of journals have convened Special Issues which focus on particular dimensions of this relationship. The introductions and contributions to such volumes note the extent to which religion may play a significant role as a potential cause of forced migration (i.e. examining asylum claims based on the grounds of religious persecution, see Mayer’s 2007 Special Issue of Refugee Survey Quarterly (RSQ)), and within forced migrants’ experiences of internal and international displacement, asylum-seeking, protracted refugeedom, and the quest for effective durable solutions. With reference to the focus on faith and experiences, Goździak and Shandy’s 2002 Special Issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies, entitled ‘Religion and Spirituality in Forced Migration,’ is a particularly noteworthy collection, whose articles engage with diverse ways of negotiating and coping with displacement which variously draw on, and/or result in changes in, personal, familial and collective religious beliefs and practices.2 While the above-mentioned collections draw together case-studies from a diversity of religious traditions, other Special Issues have more concretely explored the history of asylum and contemporary experiences of seeking refuge and protection in relation to specific monotheistic religions, such as Türk’s 2008 Special Issue of RSQ on ‘Asylum and Islam’.