In the United Kingdom Christian foster children are raised with Muslim families and similarly Muslim children are brought up by foster Christian families.
In August a prestigious newspaper of London reported news about a five years old Christian girl being fostered by a Muslim family. That article expressed that the Muslim family kept that girl away from eating bacon, guided her to learn Arabic and took her crucifix necklace. Later this story was investigated by the senior social worker and proved wrong.
The news reporter accused government social services which arrange foster parents for the children without consultation of religion.
In UK and US fostering network provide shelter and food to the needy children. Sometimes they have to separate the siblings for weeks because the families could not accommodate all the children at a time. These children then stay with those families who give them bed to sleep and food to eat. This is only hospitality. And as host people go the extra mile in order to meet their needs. Often children are not capable to continue their studies at school and they have to move around from one place to another.
According to the Fostering Network there is deficiency of about 7,000 caregivers nationwide. And the bitter reality is that these caregivers are taking care of each others’ children at the most difficult time in their own lives.
Local authorities like fostering network need to find appropriate place, considering the child’s religion, racial origin and linguistic background.
According to Isaiah 1:15-17, James 1:27 and Matthew 25:31-46, caring for the unguarded children is an important part of worship.
Fostering Children is increasing for the refugees or shelter-less from Muslim countries because many of them are suffering from distress.
It was shortly before Christmas when Riffat and Sajjad, two Pakistani British received a call of taking care of three siblings, a boy and two girls.
They were approved as caregivers after two months by Fostering network. Both are Pakistani Muslims. On the first day Sajjad went shopping shortly after putting the kids to bed. “We are Muslims and we never had a Christmas tree in our home. But these children were Christian and we wanted them to feel connected to their culture”, says Riffat.
Sajjad and Riffat decorated the Christmas tree and prepared the presents all night. The children were very pleased to see the tree.
Riffat read Bible stories to the children and took the girls to church on Sundays. “When I read about Christianity, I don’t think there is much difference,” she says.
The foster parents told the children about their own culture too. Riffat taught cooking potato curry, pakoras and samosas. She also made them to speak Urdu. Riffat considers the presence of children in her home as blessing. Moreover Sajjad says that he has two girls and wife waiting for him when he goes home.
Not only in UK but in the world there are children nearby who need refuge and foster parent in their hour of need.