November 19, 2015

Bishop on Refugee Crisis

Bishop Burkat

“Lutherans across this nation have welcomed more than a half million people fleeing violence and persecution,” Bishop Claire Burkat writes in a letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer.  “As a Pennsylvanian and Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I am proud of Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to continue to work with the Federal Government in welcoming Syrian refugees to our state.”

Read the full letter below.

 

 

As a Pennsylvanian and Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I am proud of Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to continue to work with the Federal Government in welcoming Syrian refugees to our state.

As we mourn the lives lost in Paris and Beirut, we also remember that ordinary Syrians have also suffered persecution, by their own government and now by a merciless terrorist organization. Imagine trying to raise your children in such an environment. Imagine trying to move them to safety, only to be told that you yourself were now considered suspect.

Pennsylvania has long welcomed refugees from a diversity of countries. Their presence has strengthened and enriched the fabric of our state. Over the years, Lutherans across this nation have welcomed more than a half million people fleeing violence and persecution. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is a secure, public-private partnership that has saved the lives of vulnerable people and helped them to thrive and give back to the United States. Thanks to a robust security screening process implemented by the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and related entities, we have welcomed refugees with confidence and very positive results. It breaks my heart that so many other governors have abandoned that honorable tradition now, when the need is so great.

Sincerely,

The Reverend Claire S. Burkat, Bishop

Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA