Do Not Carry Out Planned Deportations

 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.”

Zechariah 7:9-10  NRSV

The National Council of Churches urges the Trump administration not to go forward with the widely publicized raids scheduled for this weekend that are intended to round up and deport thousands of families and individuals. Indeed, these raids may very well take place while millions of Christians are attending Sunday services. The raids have struck fear and dread into the hearts of countless people who are living peaceful and productive lives in our nation. 

These unnecessary acts of “enforcement”  terrorize children, women, and men who live in our communities. It is unconscionable and immoral.  We see these threatened deportations as part of a program of extreme intimidation and harm, and we urge the U.S. government not to move ahead with these raids.

This is a moment in which God is calling the Church to do all it can to stand with those who have sought refuge within our borders and to resist these measures and show compassion toward persons threatened with deportation.  Many of the congregations associated with the NCC are praying for those impacted and are prepared to act in ways that protect threatened persons.  

Since the earliest times in which Christians gathered together, churches have been places of sanctuary in which persons in danger of harm from an oppressive government can find safety and protection.  We urge all churches to be places of sanctuary for those in danger today.

People of faith cannot turn a blind eye this weekend and we must rely upon the strength of God, revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to accept the freedom and power to resist evil, injustice, and oppression.

To learn more about the sanctuary movement, please begin here. For those facing raids this weekend, we are reminded of our scriptures which teach us:

O how abundant is your goodness
    that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
    in the sight of everyone!

In the shelter of your presence you hide them
    from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
    from contentious tongues.

-Psalm 31:19-20 NRSV

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