In light of an upcoming Senate vote on the legality of 'sanctuary cities', Christian Post ran an op-ed titled 'Congress: Sanctuary CitiesAre Biblical, Don't Scapegoat Them'.
Except that sanctuary cities are not biblical.
The authors turn to Numbers chapter 35 and church tradition to make their comparison, but a reasonable analysis of both shows the glaring differences between the two.
First, the so-called 'sanctuary cities' are actually called 'cities of refuge' in the Old Testament. They were ordered by God to protect the accidental manslayer; this is obvious from verse 11 of Numbers 35: ' ... then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there (emphasis mine).' And God made His intentions clear on their use in verses 15 through 25.
Traditionally, 'sanctuary' was and is a concept whereby the church provides protection for anyone who asks for it for any reason, and is restricted to the confines of church property – it ends at the door of the church or the gate of the monastery/convent.
Compare both of these with the idea of 'sanctuary cities' and you can see it's a bastardization of both – providing protection anyone for any reason on a citywide scale.
There's nothing biblical about them. There isn't even anything churchy about them.