The term ‘sanctuary cities’ has been in the news a lot in the past few weeks, as places in the USA declare themselves to be havens for undocumented immigrants. Though ‘sanctuary’ has a history of meaning safety for the persecuted, it has an even longer history of meaning something quite different: refuge for criminals.
Rosalind Brown, a canon at Durham Cathedral, and historian John Jenkins explain how and why, for 1000 years, churches in England offered shelter to murders and thieves fleeing justice.
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