More than 500 national and local faith leaders have sent a letter to all members of Congress opposing recent anti-refugee legislation and urging lawmakers to “demonstrate moral leadership and affirm their support for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to the United States.”
Signers of the letter include more than 152 bishops, 450 local pastors, rabbis, imams, and leaders of faith-based organizations. Earlier this week, another 1000 rabbis also sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to uphold American values and welcome refugees.
“As religious leaders from a variety of backgrounds, we are called by our sacred texts and faith traditions to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner,” reads the letter from the 500 national and local faith leaders. “War, conflict and persecution have forced people to leave their homes, creating more refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people than at any other time in history.”
“As the United States joins the world in seeking ways to meaningfully respond to the Syrian refugee crisis, it is paramount that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program stay true to its mandate to resettle the most vulnerable. Vulnerable individuals from a host of religions, ethnicities and backgrounds have been and should continue to be resettled in the United States.”
“Together, representing our various faiths, we decry derogatory language that has been used about Syrian refugees and our Muslim friends and neighbors. Inflammatory rhetoric has no place in our response to this humanitarian crisis. We ask our elected officials and candidates for office to recognize that new Americans of all faiths and backgrounds contribute to our economy, our community, and our congregations. Refugees are an asset to this country. They are powerful ambassadors of the American Dream and our nation’s founding principles of equal opportunity, religious freedom, and liberty and justice for all.”
“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.”
The full text from the faith leaders is available here.