No Room at the Inn? What you can do to welcome Syrian refugees

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Syrian-Refugee-Banner

I have some news to share and am writing to ask for your help.

You and many others are advocates for immigrants and refugees, and I know that you have shared my deep disappointment at the ill-informed statements and positions some U.S. governors have made recently indicating that they will not allow Syrian refugees to be resettled in their states. Some have gone so far as to propose tracking Syrian refugees who have already been resettled and are living peaceful lives, contributing to their communities, and others have threatened to sue organizations like Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and our local partners if we continue to welcome and resettle Syrian refugees.

The news I want to share is that LIRS and our partners are determined to continue to resettle refugees, including Syrians, across the U.S. as planned. We know that refugees’ lives depend on protection, and that resettlement is one important part of providing that protection to a small number of refugees.

It is wrong to discriminate against anyone, including refugees, because of their country of origin. Lutherans, local congregations, and people of goodwill all across the U.S. understand this and are committed to living out God’s call to love and serve our neighbors. During these weeks of Advent, they are already demonstrating their faith in action by welcoming Syrian families driven from their homeland years ago – including a mom and dad and four children, who have begun their new life in Texas.

I want to express my deep gratitude to our local resettlement partner organizations for their amazing work and their determination to take a stand for welcoming refugees. They deserve your support and prayers, especially as they have received threats and intense pressure.

I am often asked, “What can I do?” in the face of anti-refugee sentiments, harsh rhetoric, bullying and threats. Here are some simple steps you can take.

Syrian Refugees Need Your Support

  1. Please pray for Syrian refugees; here is a prayer you can use:

    God of the sojourner, we pray for the safety and well-being of all refugees, especially newly arrived Syrian families that have been welcomed to the U.S., as they begin to rebuild their lives in a new land. They were strangers once, but are now our neighbors. And we pray for the ministries of organizations and congregations who work to support these new neighbors.

  2. Learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis at LIRS.org/Syria, where you can find videos, frequently asked questions, and more resources
  3. Place an insert about Syrian refugees in your worship bulletin.
  4. Contact your Governor, Congressional representatives and U.S. Senators to express your support of the U.S. and your state continuing to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees.
  5. Share “No Room At the Inn” by printing, reading, discussing or posting it on a bulletin board at church.
  6. Support this important work with your financial gift or volunteering.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help with answers to questions, provide a speaker for your organization, or in any other way.

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke

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