WASHINGTON, D.C. — In letters today, the Evangelical Immigration Table urges Congress and the Obama administration to welcome refugees and significantly increase the number of refugees the country admits in the next fiscal year.
“The United States of America has a proud history of welcoming refugees, and local churches have long been eager partners in the process of integration. As evangelical Christians, our faith compels us to respond with compassion and hospitality, recognizing that each is made in God’s image and is a neighbor whom God commands us to love,” the letters state. “ … We are calling upon our government to do more.”
The full letters are available here.
The following are quotes from Table leaders:
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
“When others are in desperate need, we remember Jesus’ golden rule to treat others as we would want to be treated. Let’s rescue refugees. It’s the Christian thing to do.”
Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief:
“World Relief has worked with local church partners throughout the nation to resettle more than 250,000 refugees since the late 1970s. As the world faces the greatest refugee crisis since World War II, we are ready and eager to do all that we can to welcome and help integrate those fleeing persecution. At this unique moment in history, we challenge our generous nation to do more, and we challenge each local church throughout the country to commit to welcoming a refugee family.”
Noel Castellanos, CEO and President, Christian Community Development Association:
“The current refugee crisis drives home the urgent need for leaders at home and abroad to work together to address the needs surrounding migration. People are leaving their countries of origin to flee poverty, violence and war, making migration a necessity for survival, not a sin. We need to look at the root causes of our current crisis and work together to create sustainable solutions that work for those who are migrating and for those who are receiving them.”
Bishop Jose Garcia, Director of Church Relations, Bread for the World:
“Throughout history the United States has been a ‘city of refuge’ for countless immigrants escaping political persecution and oppression. As a nation ‘under God’ we have the faith and moral imperative to become the hands and heart of God by reaching out and welcoming the stranger.”
Shirley V. Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities:
“The United States has been blessed with such an abundance of resources that we have the opportunity to bless others. We have the educational and employment opportunities that allow refugees to contribute in meaningful ways to the United States and to fulfill their Godgiven potential. Increasing the number of refugees is consistent with our biblical mandate to take care of the least of these.”
Dr. Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“These millions of refugees, fleeing the most brutal kinds of persecution and oppression, are some of our world’s most vulnerable and defenseless people. Over and over again in Scripture we see that God has an interest in whether or not the sojourner, the orphan, and the widow are treated with compassion and care. By welcoming those whose religious and personal liberties have been trampled on by tyrants, we can embody our conviction that all people are made in the image of God, whether they are without a family, a home, or a country.”
Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/CONELA:
“Our greatest strength as a people lies in our God-graced ability to save lives. When the world cries out for help, we respond. Accordingly, this current refugee crisis requires our nation, this proverbial ‘city on a hill,’ to shine the light of compassion once again. Let us open our hearts and homes to the suffering and those fleeing destruction. Let us ‘be light’ once again.”
Rev. Jim Wallis, Founder and President, Sojourners:
“When people are in such great trouble and fear that they leave their homes with no place to go, the test of loving our neighbors—as Jesus tells us to do—is to welcome them with compassion, grace, and love—without political considerations. The Pope has asked the churches to take in the ‘strangers’ from Syria. Catholic or not, it is time for Christians everywhere to respond.”
Robert Zachritz, Vice President, Advocacy & Government Relations, World Vision:
“It can be hard during a time of crisis to have a response of love instead of fear. Scriptures admonish us to love the refugee in our midst.”
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.