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REFUGE, CITIES OF
Towns that, according to Jewish law, enjoyed the right of assylum. To justify his right to immunity, the fugitive had to prove that his crime was unpremeditated. He virtually became a prisoner in the city to which he fled. Six cities of refuge are listed in Joshua 20:7-9. The practice was carried over to Christianity in the so-called right of sanctuary.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.