Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Recent Immigration Policy

A LETTER FROM BISHOP BENFIELD

In recent days many voices across this nation have risen in opposition to the current federal administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as a way to control immigration into the United States. To put it bluntly, such a policy of separating families is immoral. I must add my voice to others who strongly object.

I am relatively certain that the General Convention of The Episcopal Church will address the issue when it meets in July. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the following statement signed last week by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other religious leaders. It is to the point and reminds us of our calling to respect the most vulnerable among us.

Faithfully yours,

Larry R. Benfield


Recently, the Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our concern for the wellbeing of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained to hear this news.

We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.

As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.

His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Diocesan Legate and Director of the Ecumenical Office
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

Mr. Azhar Azeez
President, Islamic Society of North America

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton, Penn., and Chair of the
Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.
Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Bishop H. Kenneth Carter, Jr.
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church (United States)

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister & President, United Church of Christ

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. David Guthrie
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Southern Province

Mr. Glen Guyton
Executive Director, Mennonite Church USA

The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
President, Union for Reform Judaism

Mr. Anwar Khan
President, Islamic Relief USA

The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Northern Province

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II
Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Rev. Don Poest
Interim General Secretary

The Rev. Eddy Alemán
Candidate for General Secretary
Reformed Church in America

Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III
Presiding Bishop, The Eighth Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. Phil Tom
Executive Director
International Council of Community Churches

Mr. Jim Winkler
General Secretary & President
National Council of Churches USA

Senior Bishop McKinley Young
Presiding Prelate, Third Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church


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Video from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry