We are all Syrian. We are all Muslim.

This was an email letter sent to members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego on January 29, 2017 and posted the same day to the Diocesan Facebook Page

 

Logo for Episcopal Diocese of San DiegoDear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

 

The last nine days have been a disquieting and dizzying display of presidential action in Mr. Trump’s first days in office. It is difficult for us to find focus as he occupies the media space railing about the size of the inauguration crowd and making unsubstantiated claims regarding voter fraud. From a public policy perspective, there is much to worry about: news blackouts from federal departments, possible trade wars, and comments about illegal torture to name a few.

 

However, Friday’s executive order to halt immigration from seven Muslim countries, including the suspension of refugees from war-ravaged Syria, is an affront to our sense of fairness and equity. Indeed, the president even stated that our nation would give preferential treatment to Christians over Muslims, thereby invoking a religious standard for entry that is anathema to our national creed. Fanning the fears of 9/11 and ISIS, the president wants us to believe that we will be safer because we change who we are as a people who welcome the immigrant and the refugee. But we are the nation of the Marshall Plan, Famine Relief and Tsunami recovery. Our dark chapters of the last century include Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order 9066, which interred Japanese Americans because of their ethnicity. This is too eerily familiar. Surely we have learned from our past and discovered the better angels of our nature.

Please read all of the Bishop’s letter

What can I do?

Headline: Million of Syrian Refugees in needEpiscopal Church Responds to Syrian Refugee Crisis

Adapted from the Diocesan News of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego:

Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD), the worldwide relief arm of the Episcopal Church, is working to collaborate with organizations active in transit countries such as Greece. Episcopal Migration Ministries suggests these actions for concerned Episcopalians:

  1.  pray;
  2. volunteer with one of our local resettlement partners to welcome new Americans: http://bit.ly/EMMpartners;
  3. join the #RefugeesWelcome global social media campaign urging governments to welcome refugees (ie. use hashtag #RefugeesWelcome in your Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram posts);
  4. sign the White House petition asking the president to pledge to resettle at least 65,000 Syrians by 2016: http://1.usa.gov/1L6zh9l.

A Prayer for the Victims of the Syrian Conflict

We pray for those damaged by the fighting in Syria.
To the wounded and injured:
Come Lord Jesus.

To the terrified who are living in shock:
Come Lord Jesus.

To the hungry and homeless, refugee and exile:
Come Lord Jesus.

To those bringing humanitarian aid:
Give protection Lord Jesus.

To those administering medical assistance:
Give protection Lord Jesus.

To those offering counsel and care:
Give protection Lord Jesus.

For all making the sacrifice of love:
Give the strength of your Spirit
and the joy of your comfort.
In the hope of Christ we pray, Amen.

From the Church of England Prayers for Syria.