Christian Leaders Respond to Politicans Refusing to Help Syrian Refugees

Statements of Faith Leaders on states turning their backs on Syrian Refugees:

Our message to Governors and states:

As Christians We Should Help, Not Hate Syrian Refugees

“As Christians, we should help because of faith, not hate because of our fear.”

These are families and children fleeing violence and seeking shelter. As Christians we have a responsibility to offer sanctuary. The Syrian refugees, families and children should have our help, not hate. That’s the Christian thing to do.”

- Signed by: 191 people of faith & church leaders, including:

Rev. Jim Sessions, United Methodist Church (Knoxville, TN)

Pastor Enoch Fuzz, Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church (Nashville, TN)

Rev. Marcia Free, Uinted Church of Christ Minister/Chaplain Retired (Knoxville, TN)

Rev. Dr. Sandra Winter, Presbyterian Church (USA) (Chattanooga, TN)

Pastor William Berger, Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church (Franklin, TN)

Minister Kathleen Mckevitt, Unity Church (Hollister, ID)

Russell Meyer, Executive Director Florida Council of Churches (Tampa, FL)

Kathleen Shields, St. Johns Episcopal Church (Colorado)

Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran, United Methodist Church (San Francisco, CA)

Rano Singh Sidhu, Punjabi Seva (Arizona)

Joan Brown, Exec Dor New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light (NM)

Rev. Rebecca David Hensley, United Methodist Church, North Texas Conference (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Elizabeth LaBella-Foster, United Methodist Church (Leesburg, VA)

Minister Jason Redick, Holy Covenant UMC (Carrollton, TX)

The Rev. Steve Oreskovich, Episcopal Church (Florence, MT)

Clark Sherman (Priest), Episcopal Church (Bozeman, MT)

Katherlyn Geter, Mt. Canaan (Chattanooga, TN)

Director Michael Adee, Global Faith & Justice Project (Santa Fe, NM)

Rev Margaret E Howland, Presbyterian Church (USA) (Orlando, FL)

Sr. Minister Dr. Derek Penwell, Douglass Blvd. Christian Church (Louisville, KY)

Pastor Sharon Kutz-Mellem, Presbyterian Church USA (Prospect, KY)

Rev. Cathy Hoop, University Presbyterian Church (Brentwood, AL)

Arnold Johnston, Presbyterian Church (USA) (Louisville, KY)

Rev. Mary Louise McCullough, Second Presbyterian Church (Nashville, TN)

Derwent Suthers, St. Andrews (Rio Rica, AZ)

Rev. Caroline Noll, First United Methodist Church (Garland, TX)

Pastor William Humes, Coventryville United Methodist Church (Pottstown, PA)

Pastor Les Chandler, Grace United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Senior Pastor Brent Barry, NorthPark Presbyterian Church (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Beth Rakestraw, Divine Peace MCC (MI)

Rev. Ben David Hensley, Associate Pastor, Oak Lawn United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Dr. Donna McNiel, New Mexico Conference of Churches (Albuquerque, NM)

Rev. Thomas Gildemeister, (Nashville, TN)

Senior Pastor Eric Folkerth, Northaven UMC (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Timothy Boeglin, Central United Methodist Church (Brownwood, TX)

Julie Spurlin-Hane, United Methodist Church - MI

Minister Philip Dieke, United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Senior Minister Christine Ng, Central Congregational Church (Dallas, TX)

Russell Floyd, United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Diana Holbert (Dallas, TX)

Amy Harris Medlam, United Church of Christ (Bethany, OK)

Rev. Renee Geiger, ELCA (Lutheran), (Bellmead, AZ)

Rev. Criag Geiger, ELCA Lutheran (Tucson, AZ)

Priest Frank Bergen, Episcopal Church of St. Matthew (Tucson, AZ)

Senior Pastor Mitchell Boone, White Rock UMC (Dallas, TX)

Senior Pastor Carol Sparks, Holy Covenant UMC (Carrollton, TX)

Church  Elder Greg Gardner, Woodland Presbyterian Church (Nashville, TN)

Debra Vela , Candidate to Holy Orders , San Francisco de Asis Iglesia Episcopal (Mesquite, TX)

Senior Pastor, Wes Magruder, United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Father Patrick Bell, St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Coeur D'Alene, ID)

Steven  Yurosko, Episcopal Church (Polson, MT)

Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas, United Methodist Church (Frisco, TX)

Pastor Joseph Stabile, Cochran Chapel UMC (Richardson, TX)

Minister Terry Heislen, First United Methodist Church (Plano, TX)

Pastor Dawn Anderson, Highland Park United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Pastor Sara Kolenda, Franklin Forks United Methodist (PA)

Rev. Jonathan Grace (Carrollton, TX)

Minister Suzanne Cate (Granbury, TX)

Pastor, Rev. Kathy Mclean-Davis, First United Methodist Church (Trenton, TX)

Reverend Carol Montgomery, North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Michael Mansfield (Lexington, KY)

Rev. Dr. Keith A. Jenkins, Texas Annual Conference, UMC (Houston, TX)

Hind Jarrah, Texas Muslim Womens Foundation Executive Director (McKinney, TX)

Rev. Katie Shockley, Community United Methodist Church (Lavon, TX)

Sally Climer, Kessler Park United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Jennifer Dunn, The Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan (Knoxville, TN)

Rev. Daniel Kanter, Sr. Minister First Unitarian Church of Dallas  (Dallas, TX)

Joe Stobaugh, Grace Avenue UMC Executive Minister of Wirship and Arts (Frisco, TX)

Rev. Gregory Ryan, Oakland Christian United Church of Christ (Suffolk, VA)

Pastor Bernice Powell Jackson, First United Church of Tampa (Tampa, FL)

Rev. John A. Bell, Lakewood Methodist (St Petersburg, FL)

Rev. Terri Grotzinger, Episcopal Church (Missoula, MT)

Rev.  William Baumgarten, Kalispell Episcopal Church (Kalispell, MT)

Gary W. Hawk, United Church of Christ (Missoula, MT)

Rev. Wally Butts, First United Methodist Church (Dallas, TX)

Rev. Tricia Templeton, St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church (Atlanta)

“To Governors and politicians seeking to turn your backs on refugees from Syria and going as far as to say ‘only Christian refugees should be allowed to resettle here’: STOP using our faith as an excuse for avoiding your responsibility to serve.

These statements are not only unAmerican they are profoundly unChristian.  Next month we will celebrate the birth of a baby whose parents fled with him to Egypt to escape persecution and death. In other words, Mary, Joseph and Jesus were refugees. And Egypt took them in.

Hospitality and welcome to the stranger and to those in need is a foundational principle of Christianity, Judaism and core American values. God tells the people of Israel in the Book of Leviticus.  "You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God" The Book of Hebrews says: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,"

And if those aren't clear enough, there are these words from Jesus:

"For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’"

Governors and politicians should stop putting hate before help of the Syrian refugees, families and children seeking shelter. That’s the Christian thing to do.”