Sanctuary: To Stand and Suffer With

alexiaAn excerpt from the recent Christian Century interview with Alexia Salvatierra:

We sense that there are a lot of churches that can’t participate in the sanctuary movement because it is more radical than they are willing to be, including immigrant churches. We are creating something called the Matthew 25 Movement. It consists of individuals and congregations that pledge to protect and defend the vulnerable in the name of Jesus. This can mean a variety of things. There are churches that will pray and educate and give money. Others will participate in the creation of safe zones…

Sanctuary has always had a twofold purpose. On the one hand, it has a humanitarian purpose. It is an expression of love for people in need and in crisis. It is always about how we can protect and defend people who are dealing with unjust laws and are being hurt in the process.

Through our support and our ministry, we want to reveal that these immigrants are children of God. Whatever decision the larger society makes about how to treat immigrants, they should be recognized as our brothers and sisters in one human family. Our willingness to stand with our brothers and sisters and to suffer with them wakes people up to reconsider the situation, to ask deeper questions, to pay more attention. That’s why sanctuary can change policy.

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