“NO PASSPORT REQUIRED,” a new six-part PBS series hosted by chef Marcus Samuelsson takes viewers on an journey across the U.S. to celebrate the diversity of immigrant traditions and cuisine woven into American food and culture.

In an interview about the show Marcus says, “ As an immigrant myself [born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, and now living in Harlem] it is a dream to be a part of a show that shines light on the food culture of immigrant communities all around us. I love nothing more that heading to a new city and making my way to a local market or being invited into a family home for dinner. My hope is that the program helps show people how similar we all are, —something that I think is incredibly important in our current climate.”

I agree! We are so similar to the many diverse immigrants and refugees who have come to the United States, and we were different too, and those similarities and the differences too need to be celebrated and honored!

As a Christian, I am sometimes saddened by my fellow countrymen who have so much anger toward and mistrust of immigrants. Jesus modeled what should be our attitude, a willingness, a warmth — much like Marcus Sammuelsson’s — to embrace the stranger, to love the alien, to eat with them, and more than that, to provide for the weary or wounded traveler we meet along the road. Jesus told us to go out to all the nations to make friends with people, and yet now we see that they have come to us to be friends with us. How cool is that?

In the show “No Passport Required” we meet many immigrants who were brought to the United States by the UN because of the wars in Iraq and Syria, people who are now America’s business owners, contributing members of their American community and providing jobs for others in their community.

How courageous! How admirable! How worthy of respect and love.

There’s nothing wrong with us being proud of our country. But it is also noble, profoundly Christian and loving to be proud of people from other countries too, and to embrace them.

For the Christian this isn’t optional. We have been told to exude warmth and love to all people.

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:34

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