Faith leaders from around Minnesota, including Archbishop Bernard Hebda, voiced concerns Jan. 30 about President Donald Trump’s recent ban on immigration from seven different countries.
Trump signed an executive order called “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry in to the United States” Jan. 27. It included a ban on immigrants from Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran and Sudan due to perceived security threats by the U.S. government.
Archbishop Hebda joined 11 other Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders at the Jan. 30 press conference to call for lifting the ban. Speaking at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, the leaders said that God calls all nations to welcome refugees and immigrants.
“It’s the experience of Israel — loving the alien, the stranger, because there was the shared remembrance of the time when the Israelites themselves were strangers in the land of Egypt,” Archbishop Hebda said.
“Even if it were not part of the fabric of our civil society, those of us who are Christians know that welcoming the stranger is part of the gospel imperative,” Archbishop Hebda added. “The mission entrusted to us by Christ is to hear the cry of those in need and respond with mercy and generosity.”
Faith leaders present also stated that fear and misinformation drove the president’s decision. Several faith leaders also stated that a thorough screening process for immigrants and refugees already exists in the U.S., mitigating the new immigrants’ potential security risk.
Minnesota Council of Churches, which organized the press conference, also urged people to contact elected officials to oppose the executive order.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis collaborates with the Minnesota Council of Churches but is not an official member.
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