CBF leaders reaffirm call to ‘welcome the stranger,’ pledge to advocate for ‘permanent solutions’ for immigrants and refugees

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship leaders have joined other faith leaders across the country in reaffirming the biblical call to “welcome the stranger” and expressed appreciation for recent positive steps taken by the new administration on immigration policy and committed to work with elected officials to find “permanent solutions” for immigrants and refugees.

“As Christians, we have heard Jesus’s call to welcome the stranger. In response to that calling, we as Cooperative Baptists will continue to witness the love of God to immigrants and refugees through our missions and advocacy work,” CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley said.

“We will also work to strengthen the ties between immigrants and our churches for the transformation of our communities, in an effort to witness together the love of God among the nations,” Baxley added. “We must never forget that the church of Jesus Christ is drawn from all nations of the earth.  Immigrants can be our guides in faith. Christian missionaries have often lived and served as immigrants. They pray with us, worship with us and fellowship with us. They are our neighbors, sisters and brothers in Christ, made in the image of God.”

Since January 20, executive actions have been issued halting the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, ordering the review of immigration agencies’ enforcement priorities and ending the travel and immigration bans for Muslim-majority countries.

“The United States should not discriminate on the basis of religion. Doing so violates our commitment to religious liberty and our history as a country of welcome. I’m grateful to see the Biden administration reverse this travel ban on day one,” said Stephen Reeves, CBF Associate Coordinator for Advocacy.

“While these executive orders are a welcome relief to many of our neighbors, there is much work yet to be done in Congress to enshrine more just policies into law. CBF Advocacy will work with elected officials to find more permanent solutions to the numerous current crisis that face the immigrants and refugees in our midst.”

CBF’s Advocacy and Action Team for Immigrants and Refugees updated its values and principles statement, first released in 2018, to reflect current realities. Some of the actions taken by the new administration concur with these values and principles.”

Read the full statement regarding immigration policy here.

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