calendar January 30, 2014 in Advocacy, Bishop, Bishop messages, News

Diverse Faiths Unite for Immigration Reform

The Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia has adopted “Religiously Diverse, United for Immigration Reform,” a statement that calls on communities and individuals of faith to welcome immigrants and refugees, educate themselves about the immigrant experience and the laws that govern it, and advocate for reform locally and nationally.

“Our religious teachings, our nation’s ideals, and the history of immigrants’ contributions to our communities lead us to call upon national, state and local elected officials and all in authority to address immigration reform now and make changes to public policy and practice that are just, compassionate, and humane,” the council wrote in the statement adopted Jan. 29, available online at .

“As religious leaders in the greater Philadelphia region, we dream of a day when people from all our traditions will unite to act on the teachings and values we hold in common. We look forward to becoming even more effective together than we are separately as we respond to the needs of our neighbors and help shape the future of our nation.  As we unite to care for the immigrants and refugees among us and work on immigration reform together, our dream will be realized.”

The document cites a variety of religious texts in urging communities of faith to welcome immigrants and advocate for just policies. The statement can be used in faith communities to stimulate dialogue and imagine actions that can be taken to welcome, educate and advocate.

The Religious Leaders Council engages more than 30 member communities representing more than 2 million people of diverse faith traditions from across the region. It was founded in 2006 to build relationships of mutual support, offer a moral and spiritual voice in the region, and identify issues of concern for dialogue and action. Bishop Claire Burkat is one of four co-convenors of the council.