CUIC Speaks Out on Executive Order on Refugees
Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) has its roots in 1960, when several religious leaders of different faith traditions across the United States came together to discuss a desire for unity. In 2002, the eleven member communions pledged to live more closely together in expressing their unity in Christ and combating racism through Churches Uniting in Christ.
In the midst of war, terrorism, disasters, economic instability, strident political polarization, and increasing wealth disparity, these church bodies are deepening their relationships and extending their common life. While we are all Christian denominations, we hold fast to the principles of justice for all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or creed.
The recent actions of the new presidential administration of the United States of America causes us great concern. Executive orders and actions taken without consideration of principles that have been foundational in our country and our Constitution are unacceptable. To single out immigrants as a body in a discriminatory way is contrary to the events that created our nation, which is a nation of “immigrants”.
With exception of the Native Americans, all of us in America are descendants of immigrants who came to this land seeking a better life or to voluntarily or involuntarily contribute to the building of this country. Equally important are the unacceptable and exclusive limitations being placed on those of the Muslim faith who desire to come to America. Religious freedom and the ability to practice one’s chosen faith without discrimination is the core of American history. This sudden departure from such a foundational belief sets this country on a course that ultimately benefits no one and harms everyone. To use “fear” as a tactic to justify such actions is exploitative and manipulative. Further, to be inhospitable and rejecting of refugees is contrary to all that we believe about serving the “least of these” and as Americans it is abhorrent that the leadership of the richest nation in the world would present our country in such a selfish and self- serving manner.
We speak out today about these things because the words and warning of this statement and poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller of Germany from a detention center (concentration camp) around 1937 still ring true:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me
The point is clear…. we are our brothers and sisters keeper! We must speak out, not just for those like us, but also for those not like us!
The Coordinating Council of Churches Uniting In Christ
The member churches of CUIC include:
- The African Methodist Episcopal Church
- The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
- The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
- The Episcopal Church
- The International Council of Community Churches
- The Moravian Church (Northern Province)
- The Presbyterian Church (USA)
- The United Church of Christ
- The United Methodist Church
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (a partner in mission and dialogue)