The construction of sanctuary as a safe space in the first century CE is cogently seen in the epistle To the Hebrews. Against the backdrop of not yet realized, though certainly real, persecution from the Roman imperial regime the author of Hebrews exhorts the audience not to fall away from the community. These exhortations culminate in Hebrews 12 where the author of Hebrews warns the audience through the metaphor of cataclysmic cosmic destruction and judgment. Throughout the epistle the author employs a counter-hegemonic schema in which the audience seeks to subvert the power of the ruling State. Nevertheless, the consistent threat against the community continues. As such these warnings serve to highlight the necessity of sanctuary in this first century CE church. How then does an understanding of the construction of sanctuary as a safe space in the first century CE inform the construction of sanctuary as a safe space seen in American sanctuary churches? Taking as an example the memorandum issued by the United Church of Christ in January 2016, I will argue that American sanctuary churches operate in much the same fashion as the church in Hebrews. I propose that much like the Roman imperial rule of the first century CE, which included the tactics of persecution and the destruction of safe spaces, the current American political situation serves as the background in which sanctuary churches and safe spaces become a necessity. Furthermore, much like the first century CE church, the American sanctuary church incurs risks involved in protecting those seeking sanctuary. There is, therefore, an inherent tension between the hegemony of the State and the counter-hegemony seen in both the first century CE church and American sanctuary churches. This paper will argue that sanctuary and safe spaces in the first century CE provide a lens which informs the construction of sanctuary and safe spaces in the form of American sanctuary churches. To that end, I will argue that sanctuary and safe spaces are socially constructed spaces, employ a counter-hegemonic schema, and can be both real and imagined. Sanctuary in both the first century CE church and American sanctuary churches is socially constructed insofar as it requires human agency to create these spaces. Both the first century CE church and American sanctuary churches employ tactics of counter-hegemony to subvert the power of the ruling State through discourses of disobedience. This counter-hegemonic schema involves considerable risk. Likewise, both first century CE and American sanctuary churches operate in real and imagined space. In other words, despite being real, physical spaces the power they assume through counter-hegemonic discourse is imagined insofar as there are no legal protections for either church. The State may enter the church whenever it wants without recourse. Thus, the construction of sanctuary in the first century CE informs the way in which sanctuary is constructed in American sanctuary churches.