Churches in America have responded strongly to President’s Trump executive order on immigration. In a spirit of solidarity and shared concerns we share here a selection of the statements made by our sister Churches.
Presbyterian Church USA
J Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), said:
With every choice of welcome we enter into relationship with people who become neighbors, friends, and family. No administration can convince us to fear. We oppose this administration’s decision to prolong each and every refugee’s wait for a place to call home under the false pretense of security. We stand ready to welcome our new neighbors, friends, and family of all faiths and nations.
United Methodist Church
Bishop Ough, President of the Council of Bishops, has said:
President Trump’s reckless, ill-conceived executive orders will divide families, impose a religious test for Muslims facing forced migration, penalize communities providing sanctuary and wall off the United States from our neighbors. These actions are expensive, unnecessary and profoundly antithetical to our values of compassion, dignity and justice for all individuals regardless of nationality, religious affiliation or legal status.
United Church of Christ
UCC General Minister and President the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, said
“I ask myself: when do we stop being America? I think it could begin the moment any refugee thinks of us as a land to fear; when the alien, stranger, immigrant, and refugee no longer know the air they breathe here is free; when the tired, poor, and tempest-tossed see the Statue of Liberty as a closed gate rather than the outstretched arm of hope and comfort. Vigilance is called for. We cannot sit by and let this happen.”
Southern Baptist Convention
Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has written a letter to the President and Vice-President:
Achieving the right balance between compassion toward refugees — one of the most vulnerable groups of people among us — and protection of Americans is crucial if the United States is to remain a model for freedom around the world. It is one thing to debate whether the vetting process is adequate. It is quite another to seek to potentially turn our backs on Syrian refugees permanently.
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, said
Welcoming the stranger and those in flight is not one option among many in the Christian life. It is the very form of Christianity itself. Our actions must remind people of Jesus. The actions of our government must remind people of basic humanity. Where our brothers and sisters suffer rejection and abandonment we will lift our voice on their behalf. We will welcome them and receive them. They are Jesus and the Church will not turn away from Him.
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition have sent a letter to President Trump signed by more than 2000 faith leaders:
As people of faith, our values call us to welcome the stranger, love our neighbor, and stand with the vulnerable, regardless of their religion. We pray that in your discernment, compassion for the plight of refugees will touch your hearts. We urge you to be bold in choosing moral, just policies that provide refuge for vulnerable individuals seeking protection.
In this country, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, issued a statement saying:
History is littered with instances in which human distrust, xenophobia, and discrimination has sown hatred and conflict; our own desire for self-preservation taken at the exclusion of others. And yet throughout history the bible has called Christians to live beyond hatred and fear, demonstrating a radical hospitality where the stranger finds welcome and refuge is provided for those who are oppressed.
His Grace Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Britain has issued a statement saying:
As Christians following Biblical teachings and traditions existing for millennia, we believe that God instructs us to provide refuge and hospitality to all humanity indiscriminately. He does not stop there in His instruction, but goes further to urge us to love all, even those who consider us their enemies. We are warned in the Gospel of Saint Matthew about neglecting “…the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.” In addressing the balance between maintaining security and providing refuge for those most vulnerable, we must remember the words of our Lord that, “These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” Love and forgiveness, as I have stated in the past should not amount to a lack of justice or wisdom, but they do safeguard against our human tendencies to seek revenge, or act in ways no different from those who seek to harm us.