NCC Urges Hospitality, Care Toward Refugees

“You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
-Deuteronomy 10:19, NRSV

As Scripture is clear about our responsibility to care for refugees, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA supports the extension of hospitality by the United States to those who are fleeing the turmoil and violence of recent years in Syria.

Syrian internally displaced people walk in the Atme camp, along the Turkish border in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on March 19, 2013. The conflict in Syria between rebel forces and pro-government troops has killed at least 70,000 people, and forced more than one million Syrians to seek refuge abroad. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

The hysteria developing in our nation regarding the possibility, no matter how remote, that Syrian refugees might represent a potential terrorist threat is misplaced, deeply unfortunate and harmful to our ability to see the humanity of our sisters and brothers from other lands.

Not only do we pray and advocate for peace for Syria and all who live in that nation, we are acutely aware that many Syrian Christians are connected directly to member denominations of our Council and are numbered among the many who have suffered and died in the conflagration that has engulfed that land.

We urge state governors and others in positions of responsibility not to pander to fear. May we keep matters in perspective and remember that while the threat of terrorism is very real, other threats such as traffic accidents, gun violence, and substance abuse abound in our society as well, and claim even more lives. Now is the time to provide shelter and respite for those Syrians in need for “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8, NRSV)

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