St. Paul, Minn., Jan 7, 2020 / 00:52 am
Reflecting on the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, the Catholic and Lutheran bishops of Minnesota issued an open letter encouraging Christians to adopt a welcoming attitude toward refugees.
“We are saddened that as Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ — who himself experienced life as a refugee when his family fled to Egypt — our nation may be creating even more hardships for vulnerable refugee families,” said an open letter from Minnesota’s Catholic bishops and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
“Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore imbued with a sacred dignity we must respect and protect. This is especially true when it comes to the poor and vulnerable.”
The article ran in the Star Tribune’s Opinion Exchange Dec. 23, in preparation for National Migration Week, which is observed this year Jan. 5-11. This year’s theme is “Promoting a Church and a World for All.”
The religious leaders condemned an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in September, which limits refugee placement to areas where both state and local governments have provided written consent.
“The new order seems to unnecessarily politicize what has been a humanitarian program rooted in our nation’s long history of resettling families fleeing from life-threatening dangers,” the bishops said.
They voiced concern that the new rule will create additional obstacles for refugees, who already “have escaped terrible situations of persecution and violence, leaving [their] homes and livelihoods to face an uncertain future.”
“We fear the executive order will create further hardship for refugees by delaying the resolution of their cases, dividing extended families and placing additional strains on the resettlement system, the religious leaders said.