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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Bishops say refugee ban raises deep concerns over religious freedom

The chairmen of three US bishops’ committees have expressed solidarity with the Muslim community and expressed deep concern over religious freedom issues they said President Donald Trump’s refugee ban raises.

Trump’s executive memorandum of 27th January ‘has generated fear and untold anxiety among refugees, immigrants and others throughout the faith community in the United States,’ said the committee chairmen in a joint statement. ‘In response…we join with other faith leaders to stand in solidarity again with those affected by this order, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers.

‘We also express our firm resolution that the order’s stated preference for ‘religious minorities’ should be applied to protect not only Christians where they are a minority, but all religious minorities who suffer persecution, which includes Yezidis, Shia Muslims in majority Sunni areas, and vice versa,’ said the statement by the Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts, Mitchell Rozanski; the Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori; and the Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Oscar Cantu.

They are, respectively, the chairmen of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on International Justice and Peace.

Picture: A woman greets her mother after she arrives from Dubai at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on 28th January. (CNS photo/Andrew Kelly, Reuters).