"Choose welcome, not fear." These are the words Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Office of the General Assembly PC(USA) implores in his statement related to the terror attacks that occurred over the weekend of Nov. 13, 2015.
"Our nation, for decades, has chosen hope and welcome for those fleeing war and persecution. Since 1975, more than three million refugees have found safety and security within our nation’s borders. Right now 11 million Syrians cannot go to school, tend to their land, or raise their children in the place they know as home. They cannot do these things because they, themselves, have been terrorized for far too long by numerous factions, including their own government."
As we respond to the mounting and misplaced backlash to Syrian refugees following the tragedies in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad over the weekend of November 13, 2015, we wanted to send some helpful statements and message guidance.
The hateful and harmful rhetoric that has been expressed over admitting refugees to the U.S. can and must be overpowered with calls for welcome. The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness and our partner in refugee resettlement CWS, is continuing to urge everyone to take part in local congressional visits, participating in a Welcome Weekend and other ways of educating our communities and demonstrating welcome.
Ministering to refugees is a part of PDA’s GA mandate; manifesting God’s gracious love for all people is in our Statement of Values. As our country struggles with the issue of welcoming refugees, may we as Christ’s own remember that we called to love as Christ loved us.
Seek ways to be a witness to the healing love of Christ. Pray that we allow ourselves to be vessels of Christ's love.
PC(USA) Call to support refugees from Syria and the World from the Office of Immigration Issues.
Fear and Security are two words often put together and yet one does not necessarily lead to the other. When faced with such fear we should become informed before jumping to react in ways that may be harmful. A FAQ on U.S. Security Checks in Refugee Resettlement addresses some of the fears we have been hearing over the past week.