Minnesota Evangelicals Still Standing with Refugees

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Transform Minnesota, the evangelical network, calls upon President Trump to lift the ban on U.S. refugee admissions. The spirit of this Executive Order is based on fears that originate from incorrect facts about refugees, and is an action that runs contrary to our Christian moral imperative to shelter those fleeing violence and persecution.

“While government policy may change, the Church’s calling has not and we will stand with refugees,” says Carl Nelson, President and CEO of Transform Minnesota.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]While government policy may change, the Church’s calling has not …[/pullquote] Among Transform Minnesota’s core values are the Sanctity of Life, Religious Freedom, and Mercy. These values, drawn from our evangelical faith and belief in the Bible, compel us to offer refuge to those who are suffering the most, to vigilantly defend each other’s religious freedom, and to protect the lives of refugees who are made in the image of God.

We believe that the President’s actions to suspend refugee admissions are based on incorrect facts that the refugee screening process is not secure. Compassion and security do not have to be mutually exclusive.

We stand with refugees because we know the truth that extreme vetting already occurs. Refugees entering the U.S. undergo 18-24 months of rigorous screening interviews, and background and biometric checks using four intelligence and federal law enforcement databases. Our intelligence agencies know more about every refugee entering the U.S. than any other visitor or traveler who crosses our border. As Christians we need to be people who value truth.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]We will stand with refugees…[/pullquote] “I’ve been involved in refugee resettlement for 19 years, and I have great confidence in the rigorous vetting process that refugees go through,” said Nelson.

Our moral responsibility as Christians to care for the persecuted and the vulnerable should not be taken lightly. If we let fear motivate us to reach the wrong conclusion we will end up breaking Jesus’ commands to us.

We stand with refugees because we know them personally. More than 130 evangelical churches in Minnesota have partnered with our affiliate organization, Arrive Ministries, to welcome and care for refugees in just the past year.

“I have been inspired by the actions of thousands of evangelicals who have rallied to welcome refugees, provide record levels of financial support, household welcome kits and volunteer hours. All of this during a time when public sentiment has grown more suspicious of refugees,” says Nelson.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”] I have great confidence in the rigorous vetting process that refugees go through.[/pullquote] Christians have been rewarded with joy and fulfillment when helping to reunite a father with his wife and children after years of separation; with a prayer of blessing from a pastor who lived as an African refugee for the past 17 years; or with satisfaction as they follow the progress of a young Somali girl during her first year of learning in a real classroom.

We stand with refugees
because we value family unity and care especially for women and children. 90% of the refugees our affiliate, Arrive Ministries, helped last year involved the reunification of families torn apart by war and violence.[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]Now more than ever Christians must stand with the vulnerable, the persecuted and the displaced.[/pullquote] In Syria, where the worst crisis is today, most of the refugees are women and children.

“Many of the ethnic congregations who share our church buildings are anxious and fearful. We need to love and support the broken families separated by war, who will need more help while they wait indefinitely for spouses to rejoin them,” said Nelson.

We stand with refugees because God commands us to love, welcome and seek justice for refugees and other immigrants. Now more than ever Christians must stand with the vulnerable, the persecuted and the displaced.

Then the King (Jesus) will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For… I was a stranger and you welcomed me… As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
-Matthew 25:34-35, 40

Rather than cowering in fear, let’s act boldly with faith in eternal truth.

We stand with refugees.

Read more statements from the National Association of Evangelicals and World Relief:

NAE Calls on President Trump to Continue Resettling Refugees

The world changes. The Church’s calling doesn’t. Still we stand.

Watch Carl Nelson’s full remarks at the Faith Leaders’ Press Conference