Refugee Ministry at Park Street Church

As evangelical Christians, we look to the Bible for guidance on matters of faith and life. Therein we see God’s compassion for refugees, those displaced from their home country due to conflict and threat of persecution, and God’s plan to lead them out of misery and “into a good and spacious land” (Exodus 3:8). We are inspired by God’s compassion and challenged by his command to care for the foreigner among us (Leviticus 19:33-34).

The Bible teaches that each person — regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, language or religious affiliation — is made in the Image of God and therefore imbued with profound value and dignity. God is concerned about every life, and so we too are concerned. Because Jesus affirms such values and identifies personally with those in great need, saying: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40), our church has actively responded in word, prayer, and deed to the current refugee crisis that spans across the globe.

We also recognize the biblical affirmation of the role of national governments to protect the sovereignty of their country and the security of their people (Romans 13:1ff.). In light of this, we acknowledge the indispensable role of the U.S. government in vetting all persons considered for admission and resettlement in our country.  

The recent executive order that suspends the US resettlement program brings these two biblical values into conflict.  We are greatly concerned that this decision will exacerbate the distressing situation of many otherwise innocent persons who have already been traumatized by armed conflict and terror in their homelands.  While we appreciate the commitment of the current administration to protect us, the citizens of the United States, and we affirm the government’s role to do so –we nonetheless urge our leaders to expedite the reevaluation of the vetting process at issue and to resume admitting and resettling refugees from war-torn areas of the world in our country. We support the work of groups like World Relief who stand ready to assist in these efforts, and encourage our government to listen to their concerns and counsel as they work on the front lines of the global refugee crisis.

As evangelical Christians, we are committed to praying for our elected officials. We persevere in praying that God grants our nation’s leaders all sufficient wisdom and discernment to establish a secure but compassionate immigration program.

 

-Pat Chen, Dir. of New Initiatives to Internationals on behalf of the refugee ministry at Park Street Church

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