We work hard on your behalf for a common Christian witness, not merely for our own sake but for the sake of the world. In the past three weeks, the Massachusetts Council of Churches has labored tirelessly to amplify your voice, your prayers, and your deep devotion “to offer philoxenia
– love of the stranger.” And there is more work to be done.
You’ve read “Our Increased Compassion, Not Our Hardened Hearts: A Joint Letter from Massachusetts Heads of Church on the Executive Action Suspending Refugee Resettlement,” initiated by the MCC and signed by seventeen diverse Christian leaders. You’ve heard Rev. Laura on the radio speaking about how your local congregations respond to the uncertain status of immigrants. You’ve seen the stories we helped source about how your local communities express Christ’s love through refugee resettlement. You’ve listened to the stories of Syrian Christians in Massachusetts longing to be reunited with their families. You’ve opened your Boston Globe to find MCC President Anthony Barsaminan declaring, “We find it totally unacceptable to single out and create suspect classes” and denouncing the “Muslim Ban.”
You’ve sent notes with messages of gratitude and given financially in affirmation of this critical ministry. Your support bolsters us for the work ahead. Thank you.
There is broad Christian consensus on the dangers of President Trump’s positions on refugees. From the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, to evangelical resettlement agency World Relief, to Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios, and mainline Protestants , “backlash against Trump’s immigration policy may be the most ecumenical issue in America right now.”
With this broad Christian consensus and your support, we’re taking our witness a step further on your behalf. Today, we announce:
The Massachusetts Council of Churches is taking our common Christian witness in support of refugees to the courts, joining an amicus brief filed in the federal courts, Eastern District of New York: Case No. 1:17-cv-00480.
Pro-Bono lawyers Morrison & Foerster LLP argue on our behalf: “The Executive Order offends amici’s deep-seated principles and obstructs and prevents amici’s efforts to help those in need.” On behalf of the local congregations who help resettle refugees, the amicus brief argues that under the Executive Order, your exercise of your religious commitments is curtailed because “providing refugee assistance is a moral and religious imperative.”
As the Massachusetts Council of Churches continues this critical witness on your behalf, we need your prayerful, practical and financial support. No one individual Christian, congregation, or denomination could sustain this media and legal witness on their own. The Massachusetts Council of Churches is only able to amplify your concerns and our common Christian witness with your support. Please, if you are proud of what we have done together and what we will continue to do, give generously. We invite you to give $11.15 monthly in honor of our 115 years of common Christian witness.
We are proud to help make the moral and legal case for your Christian love of the stranger. We are mindful of all those fleeing violence who are caught in this broken system, in refugee camps and airports, unseen and unsure of their fate. The positive federal court rulings from the West Coast are important, but they are interim, and “do not control the outcome of the New York case.” There is more work to be done to ensure your ability to continue loving the stranger.