"We must go out and stand tall in this time of crisis to send a counter message to messages of hate. And we must push back immediately against efforts aimed at resenting Syrian resettlement, and undermining the U.S. refugee program."
Erol Kekic, Immigration and Refugee Program
Director, Church World Service
In the aftermath of France's tragic attacks from "ISIS" and expressed ongoing threats, our hearts are broken and our prayers are deep.
Yet we are also sad because we are experiencing pushback against refugees like never before. Most certainly,
security for our own homeland is absolutely essential-and we continue to advocate for ongoing support for vigilant security screening of any refugees who enter our nation. We know this closing of hearts comes at the same time Disciples from across the U.S. are donating to help Syrian and other refugees, and are offering Welcome Weekend events to build awareness of refugee needs.
See images of only a few recent evidences of faithful hospitality above!
We lift up the important reminder in this time that
refugees are already the most heavily scrutinized of all entrants to the U.S., as they are subject to multiple and intense security checks before approval to enter. Rigorous border controls are in place, and multiple screenings are required by our nation's refugee resettlement process. Screenings involve the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and additional intelligence agencies. Potential refugees are checked using biometric technologies, background investigations, and collection of personal data, fingerprints, and photographs-all of which are in turn checked against government databases. Already, such security processes take often more than two years-and the President has just announced an additional increase in the security and screening processes for refugees beyond these intensive existing steps.
Security is vital-yet we are hearing voices over the past day that are responding by seeking to CLOSE THE DOOR to refugees fleeing from that same enemy of "ISIS" that just attacked France. Voices are likewise responding by threatening to halt or slow down a refugee process that already takes years for refugees to complete.
NEVER, since its beginning, has the U.S. refugee program faced such political challenges to its mission to serve the world's fleeing refugees.
PLEASE, WILL YOU TAKE ACTION TODAY TO OFFER URGENTLY NEEDED SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES? Find resources below to share in conversations with your friends and neighbors, and to encourage you in responding IMMEDIATELY:
1) Take Action TODAY, through this
CALL IN ALERT
- reminding your U.S. Senators and Representatives, as well as Governors who are resisting refugees, that
the U.S. can continue to welcome refugees while also ensuring national security!
3) SHARE AND PRAY WITH OUR DISCIPLES AND UCC CHURCH PARTNERS,who today issued the following statement on refugees.Mention our faith letter when you contact your legislators and governors-and refer also to this one also supported by our RIM office and many other faith leaders, urging protection for refugees.
4) Continue to
PLAN REFUGEE WELCOME WEEKEND EVENTS
-- in worship, and in dinners, to build relationships with refugees through your congregation!
See lots of resources
. Be sure to
REGISTER YOUR EVENTS
so we can continue to track how faith communities are building a "Hospitality Highway" across the country!
ADD YOUR OWN SIGN ON, IF YOU ARE CLERGY,
to support refugees. Our partners at Faith in Public Life initiated this opportunity for response-and
sign ons are due BY END OF DAY ON WEDNESDAY
ACCESS FREQUENTLY UPDATED INFORMATION ON SYRIA
Syrian Resources page
on our website. Also, read a helpful
from last weekend that speaks to our Christian calling to welcome the sojourner.
Please also contact our office with further questions at: Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries
, 202-957-7826. "Like" us on Facebook at: RefugeeAndImmigrationMinistriesChristianChurchDoc, follow on Twitter at: @StanleyRea, and visit our website at: discipleshomemissions.org, and select "Refugee & Immigration Ministries"