Brothers and Sisters,
On Friday, January 27, President Trump issued an executive order halting the entire U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, indefinitely barring Syrian refugees and prohibiting admissions from seven majority-Muslim countries.
In response, people across America are organizing for solidarity with Muslim communities and refugees. I will be participating in this national effort, and I urge you to join me.
Tomorrow, February 3, across our nation, individuals and groups will join in actions of solidarity with refugee and Muslim communities around noontime Jummah prayer, the largest prayer of the week. I will be traveling to Tarbiya Institute in Roseville to stand in solidarity with Imam Dr. Mohamed Abdul-Azeez and our Muslim brothers and sisters. Yesterday, they were the target of hate speech graffiti.
In the morning, I will also be sending letters to mosques and Muslim religious leaders throughout our area to let them know that we stand in solidarity with them.
Tomorrow, and in the days and weeks ahead, I ask you to join me and others – contact your local masjid (mosque), Muslim community, and interfaith alliance; ask how you can demonstrate solidarity; invite your friends, fellow worshipers, neighbors, and family to join you; register your event online; and amplify on social media with #WeAreAllAmerica #NoBanNoWall.
Be sure to also use the hashtag #UMC so we can see United Methodists engaging in their interfaith communities! Your solidarity action can be anything from a human chain, to a press event, to a vigil, to simply yourself expressing that you stand with Muslim and refugee communities. This guide will help you in planning your action and building community.
Our United Methodist Social Principles state:
We urge policies and practices that ensure the right of every religious group to exercise its faith free from legal, political, or economic restrictions. We condemn all overt and covert forms of religious intolerance, being especially sensitive to their expression in media stereotyping. We assert the right of all religions and their adherents to freedom from legal, economic, and social discrimination.
The executive action targeting refugees and Muslims comes on the heels of other orders last week aggressively targeting immigrants. United Methodists have been responding publicly to these executive orders by taking a stand in word and deed against the exclusion and Islamophobia they promote.
I thank you for your witness and ask you to join in this national solidarity action to affirm that #WeAreAllAmerica. In the face of the largest refugee crisis in history, let us embrace God’s call and love our neighbor.
Blessings to all of you,
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño