Christian leaders denounce Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban', calling for people of all faiths to oppose the policy

The policy has provoked backlash around the world, amid concerns it unfairly targets Muslims

Siobhan Fenton
Social Affairs Correspondent
Monday 30 January 2017 15:34 GMT
A significant proportion of Americans believe US Muslim do not have the same constitutional rights as other citizens
A significant proportion of Americans believe US Muslim do not have the same constitutional rights as other citizens (Reuters)

Christian leaders have denounced Donald Trumps’s immigration ban, calling on people of all faith to oppose the policy and stand with Muslims affected by it.

The ban, signed by President Trump as an executive order, stops immigration from seven majority Muslim countries. It also stops refugees from entering for the next four months.

The move has been criticised amid fears it unfairly targets Muslim people, however the White House has insisted the policy will protect against Islamic extremism and terrorism.

The policy has provoked outcry both in the US and around the world, with demonstrations and protests planned outside airports and legislatures.

Mr Trump announced his plan during an interview with a Christian television network, alleging that the his predecessor’s administration had unfairly let in Muslim refugees while turning away Christian refugees.

Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, chairman of the committee on migration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told The New York Times he would not be supporting the policy. He said: “We believe in assisting all, regardless of their religious beliefs.”

Jen Smyers, the director of policy and advocacy for the immigration and refugee program of Church World Service, echoed his concerns, calling Friday a “shameful day” in the history of the United States.

Rev. Scott Arbeiter, the president of World Relief, the humanitarian arm of National Association of Evangelicals which has helped resettle thousands of Muslim refugees, revealed the group have been collecting signatures from evangelical Christians who oppose the ban. He told the New York Times: “We have no evidence that would support a belief that the Obama administration was discriminating against Christian populations.

He added that group would resist: “any measure that would discriminate against the most vulnerable people in the world based on ethnicity, country of origin, religion, gender or gender identity. Our commitment is to serve vulnerable people without regard to those factors, or any others.”

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