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Religious Leaders to Communities of Faith: Step Up and Fight

Sascha Raiyn

Imam Mohamed Almasmari of the Michigan Muslim Community Council speaks to a gathering of interfaith leaders offering sanctuary to immigrant families who fear deportation.

An interfaith group of local religious leaders says President Trump’s immigration policies raise both political and moral issues. Six religious organizations in the Detroit area and three in Kalamazoo plan to offer sanctuary to immigrants and refugees who fear deportation.

The Rev. Jill Zundell is the pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Detroit. She says communities of faith are essential to the fight for justice.

Organizing works. Public pressure works. Solidarity works,” Zundell said. “We have a message today for Donald Trump: If you want these families, you’re gonna have to come through us.”

Zundell said her church is already providing sanctuary to an African family of six. 

The righteous side of history is always so clear in retrospect.” — Rev. Louis Forsythe 

The group is asking all communities of faith to join an effort to provide either sanctuary or support to families facing deportation.

The Rev. Louis Forsythe is the pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Detroit. He says people must decide what side of history they want to be on.

The righteous side of history is always so clear in retrospect,” Forsythe said. “But what will future generations say about us if we do not stand on the side of righteousness with those who are being treated so unjustly.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has considered buildings used for religious purposes and schools “sensitive locations” where officers should not make arrests or perform searches.

Image credit: Sascha Raiyn

About the Author

Sascha Raiyn

Reporter & Producer

Native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.

sraiyn@wdet.org   Follow @raiyn

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