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Welcoming the Stranger
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  News and Events > Denominational Statements on Refugee Executive Order

*** Updated with Church World Service Call to Action ***


Tell Congress & the White House that you OPPOSE Trump’s Rewritten Order to
Discriminate against Refugees from Certain Countries and Halt Refugee Resettlement

President Trump has rewritten his executive order to ban travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days; suspend refugee resettlement for 120 days; and drastically reduce the number of refugees the United States welcomes from 110,000 to 50,000, a historic low. Make no mistake - this new order is concocted to have the same impact as the original executive order, while avoiding court proceedings.

By barring individuals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, this rewritten executive order remains a Muslim ban. Banning refugees from all countries for 120 days will still grind refugee processing to a halt. Refugees are already the most thoroughly vetted individuals in the United States, undergoing biographic and biometric checks, medical screenings, forensic document testing, and in-person interviews. Each step of the process is time sensitive, so any pause will cause checks to expire and force refugees who have already been approved to wait months and even years to go through multiple security checks all over again, while their lives hang in the balance.

Disastrous consequences of the initial executive order are still reverberating around the world. These orders are gut-wrenching for our community members who are waiting to be reunited with a family member, and for refugees overseas with no other options for safety than to be resettled. It is critical that all Members of Congress and President Trump hear their constituents decry these announcements and declare their support for refugees from all over the world.


Your Senators and Representatives: (202) 224-3121*

*Please call this line 3 times to be connected with your 1 Representative and 2 Senators

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [City, State], and I support refugee resettlement. I strongly oppose President Trump’s executive order against refugees - both the original and the rewritten version. The order will bar individuals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen; grind refugee resettlement from all countries to a halt; and reduce the number of refugees we welcome to 50,000, a historic low. This is morally reprehensible and does not reflect the welcome for refugees I see in my community every day. I urge you to do everything in your power to see this executive order rescinded.”


MCC and Members Respond to the Executive Order on Refugees


MCC member denominations and other faith traditions all feel called by God to respond in opposition to the executive order that would ban resettlement of certain refugees. The Minnesota Council of Churches has issued a statement which reads, in part:

As Christians, we are called to welcome the stranger, love all our neighbors, and stand with the vulnerable, regardless of their religion. We pray that in public policy discernment and all we do, compassion for the plight of refugees will touch your hearts. We urge all Minnesotans and particularly people of faith to be bold in supporting moral, just policies that provide refuge for vulnerable individuals seeking protection.

To read the whole MCC statement, click here.


Other leaders speaking at the press conference included:

  • Rabbi Morris Allen, Minnesota Rabbinical Association (.DOC statement)
  • The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (PDF statement)
  • Imam Hassan Mohamud, Islamic Dawah Center in Saint Paul
  • Carl Nelson, President/CEO of Transform Minnesota, Executive Board Member of National Association of Evangelicals (.DOC statement)
  • Bishop Bruce Ough, Dakotas/Minnesota Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church (online statement)
  • Rev. Canon Michael Pipkin, Episcopal Church in Minnesota (.PDF statement from Bishop Brian Prior)
  • Rev. Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister of Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ (.DOC statement)
  • Bishop Ann Svennungsen, Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (.PDF statement)
  • Rev. Judy Zabel, Senior Pastor of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church
  • Imam Asad Zaman, Muslim American Society of Minnesota (.DOC statement)


Statements from MCC member denominations

African Methodist Episcopal Church (.pdf)


Episcopal Church


Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Ash Wednesday Statement

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Southeastern Minnesota Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Northeastern Minnesota Synod (.pdf)


Church of the Brethren


Mennonite Central Committee


Presbyterian Church General Assembly Stated Clerk

Presbyterian Church office of public witness

Presbyterian Church Stated Clerk


United Methodist Church, Council of Bishops

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

United Methodist Women


Statements from other Christian traditions

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis (.PDF)

National Association of Evangelicals


Statements from other faith traditions

Conservative Movement of Judaism

Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism

HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)


Statements from other regions

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa


Crowd and media, Hennepin Avenue UMC, January 30, 2017



"Bishop's view: Step up for refugees fleeing violence, threatened by death," Duluth News Tribune

"Minnesota's faith communities speak with one voice on refugee issue," Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Minnesota residents caught in confusion around Trump's immigration order," Minneapolis Star Tribune

Archived livestream of the press conference, FOX 9 Facebook page

"Minnesota faith leaders against Trump immigration order," KARE 11

"Members of Minnesota Faith Communities Speak Out Against Immigration Executive Order," KSTP 5

"Minnesota faith leaders denounce Tump's immigration ban," Minnesota Public Radio

"10 numbers to know about the travel ban and refugees in Minnesota," GO MN radio and KLFD radio

"Twin Cities clergy join protest against Trump immigration ban," Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Minnesota faith leaders condemn Trump's executive order on refugees," Pioneer Press

"Immigration ban reaches Minnesota as Trump order brings confusion." Duluth News Tribune

"Travel ban reaches Minnesota as Trump order brings confusion," Grand Forks Herald

"Trump immigration order may affect 39 refugees on way to Minnesota," Crookston Times

"Travel ban causes confusion in Minnesota," Fergus Falls Daily Journal

"Local faith leaders are also denouncing the immigration order," MinnPost

"Faribault joins Minnesota in response to Trump's ban." Hiawatha World Online

"Archbishop Hebda joins Minnesota faith leaders in opposing Trump's immigration ban," Catholic Spirit

"Bishop Ough issues statement on Trump immigration order," Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

"Methodists in Britain welcome UMC statement on Trump immigration order," Ekklesia

WCCO TV News, 1/30/2017, 10:05pm, not archived

Related Coverage

"Work to Help Refugees Continues After Executive Order", KEYC TV

"Local immigrants fret impact of president's order," Mankato Free Press

"A refugee reset would have big impact in Minnesota," Minneapolis Star Tribune

"About 20 Rabbis Arrested During Protest Over Trump Travel Ban," New York Times


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