NSM congregations announce sanctuary for families

New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia joined a dozen cities nation-wide in announcing that our member congregations will provide physical sanctuary to immigrant families with final deportation orders. We defy President Obama’s inhumane immigration policies by moving families into four of our member congregations: Germantown Mennonite Congregation, the Philadelphia Praise Center, a Mennonite congregation in South Philadelphia, Tikkun Olam Chavurah, a Germantown-based Jewish community, and West Kensington Ministry in North Philadelphia.

Immigrant families will move into our member congregations and refuse to leave in a faith-driven civil disobedience against mass deportation. This act of civil disobedience fights the individual case and highlights the injustice of current immigration law. Check out www.sanctuary2014.org to learn more about the nation-wide movement for sanctuary, and our press page here to see local and national coverage.

Pastor Aldo of the Philadelphia Praise Center, a Sanctuary congregation, says, “We answer God’s call by opening our church to bring hope to people in need.”

Rabbi Linda of Tikkun Olam Chavurah, a Sanctuary congregation, led 50 members in a Jewish Rosh Hashanah (New Year) ritual. She says, “Rosh Hashanah starts the New Year with your eyes fully open, able to bring greater justice to your journey in life.” Rabbi Linda shared that many Jewish people in the U.S. are immigrants or children of immigrants, and only survived because others were willing to take them in during the Holocaust.

Teresa, a NSM member at Visitation BVM Parish, says, “The decision of President Obama to postpone his Executive Action and stop deportations violates our faith values to love our fellow human beings, to welcome the strangee and act justly. He has deported more than two million people. We can wait no longer.”

Gerardo of Visitation BVM Church adds that Sanctuary “sends the message that we are creating a world where our families are sacred and we are willing to give everything to lift up theese immigrant families with hope, justice, and faith.”

We demand that President Obama use his Executive Power to end all deportations without exception and create a country of Sanctury – where all are safe, respected, and welcomed, and where economic, spiritual, and emotional wholeness are realized.