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4,000 Faith Leaders Oppose Trump’s Forthcoming Executive Action Targeting Refugees from Muslim-Majority Countries


February 23, 2017


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, 202-735-7123

4,000 Faith Leaders Oppose Trump’s Forthcoming Executive Action Targeting Refugees from Muslim-Majority Countries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 4,000 interfaith clergy from across the country, who stand in opposition to any policy change that would bar refugees based on their religion or nationality, have endorsed a national petition in support of refugee resettlement in the United States.

“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,” the petition states. “This nation has an urgent moral responsibility to receive refugees and asylum seekers who are in dire need of safety. With more than 5 million Syrian refugees fleeing violence and persecution and hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, the United States has an ethical obligation as a world leader to reduce this suffering and generously welcome Syrian refugees into our country. We call on the Trump Administration and all members of the U.S. Congress to demonstrate moral leadership and affirm their support for the resettlement of refugees from all over the world to the United States.”

To view the petition and a full list of signers, click here.

Prominent leaders who have endorsed the petition include: Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rev. Dr. William Barber, President, National Senior lecturer, Repairers of the Breach, Architect of Moral Mondays and Moral Revival; Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life; Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Senior Vice President, Union for Reform Judaism; Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO, National Council of Jewish Women; Jim Winkler, President, National Council of Churches; Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners; Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., President, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States; Marcia Allen, CSJ, President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Anwar A. Khan, CEO, Islamic Relief USA; Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ; Bishop Bruce R. Ough, President, Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church; Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada.

Jim Winkler, President National Council of Churches:

“Quite simply, our biblical mandate and our responsibilities under international law to care for refugees are clear. Let us fulfill them.”

Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life:

“As people of faith, we cannot stand idly by as the politics of fear turn neighbor against neighbor. Welcoming immigrants and refugees is a defining part of our nation’s past, present and future. Our nation must continue to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for those fleeing violence and oppression. We cannot remain silent as this administration sows seeds of division and bigotry. Faith leaders must stand on the front line for justice.”

Jill Jacobs, Executive Director, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights:

“Just as many of our families arrived in America as refugees, contributing to our nation’s diverse strength with their infusion of talent, energy and patriotism, so do our refugee neighbors today. Denying safe haven to those fleeing violence, many of whom are children, is a breach of Jewish law and the American values of compassion, equality and opportunity.”

Imam Talib M. Shareef, USAF-Retired, The Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad:

“We represent a collective voice, one that uplifts our nation’s foundational values and principles and one that says no to any ban targeting humans because of their religious beliefs.”


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