Faith Leaders Affirmation on Welcoming Refugees September 2016
As faith leaders from across the United States, we urge our government to effectively welcome and assist refugees in our communities and also to lead a robust global response to assist and protect refugees overseas. At a time when we’re seeing the largest number of people displaced since World War II, we must act according to our ideals and values. And as a country settled by successive waves of people fleeing war, poverty and persecution, we must lead by example.

Refugee protection is best attained with societal acceptance and welcome, and the faith community can be pivotal to strengthen both. We embrace our responsibility as faith leaders to create welcoming communities. Faith informs perceptions and attitudes that individuals have towards others. During this time of unprecedented humanitarian need, we are leading our communities to reach out to and stand up for refugees to ensure that they are welcomed and assisted.

Specifically, we as faith leaders commit to:
• using language and narrative that is affirming of the dignity of individuals who are forced to flee their homes, and encouraging hospitality for newcomers;
• creating open, honest, and respectful dialogue among communities of faith around refugee rights;
• encouraging our respective faith communities all across the country and the world to welcome refugees into our neighborhoods and places of worship;
• working with our governmental and non-governmental partners to assist refugees wherever they are.

In addition, we ask for our government and others to commit to:
• ensuring refugees have access to safety and protection;
• supporting adequate funding to meet the basic humanitarian needs of refugees;
• creating greater opportunities for refugees to be resettled;
• providing refugees the opportunity for education and a legal right to work;
• addressing the root causes of violence and war.

Refugees are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. We need to strengthen the international response and expand opportunities for refugees worldwide. We are pleased that the President plans to lead a Refugee Summit on September 20th to address ways in which refugees can be assisted in this country and around the world. We in the faith community commit to do our part, as well, through our collective action and voice to welcome refugees.

If you are a leader of a faith community, PLEASE SIGN ON BY September 12th, 2016:

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