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Sanctuary Everywhere

Sanctuary Everywhere:  NC Council of Churches Information Session

Over a dozen churches and several non-profit organizations met on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 to hear Ms. Jennie Belle from the NC Council of Churches share relevant information about SANCTUARY.  She shared the history of this movement which developed in the 1980’s when Central Americans were fleeing war in their countries and needed safe places to stay.   “Sanctuary is providing a safe place for someone to stay until their case can be justly heard.” 

Those present agreed that most of our brothers and sisters come here without authorization because they lack the legal means to enter the U.S. when fleeing violence, war, oppression, hunger and corrupt governments.  And for those authorized to be here through Temporary Protective Status, that legal immigrant status is presently being revoked. Now, in both cases, they face life without “papers” and possible deportation; separation from their children; or uprooting their families, including their American-born children, to take them to countries where they will likely face economic and/or physical danger.  And with rare exceptions, they have no path to citizenship. Many will need protection to stay.

Currently five churches in NC offer Sanctuary to individuals; another church will open this week.  We heard stories of families involved in these sanctuary journeys—and their impact on participating churches.  No church in the Charlotte area presently offers Sanctuary.  Churches represented will pray, and seek God’s leading about opening their doors to Sanctuary.

“Sanctuary Everywhere” allowed each participant to identify an area to individually and corporately be involved in offering love, open arms and acceptance to our immigrant neighbors.  Whether it is in our place of worship for a few hours on Sundays or on a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week basis, we can act to cast out fear and live into God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18) in multiple ways in our churches, at work, at school, and on the street by:

  • Offering English classes, Health Clinics, “Know your Rights” Sessions
  • Caring for immigrant children
  • Studying with immigrant children
  • Accompanying children and families to court
  • Providing funds for legal counsel
  • Organizing prayer vigils
  • Amplifying the voices of immigrants; advocating for individuals
  • Advocating for just laws, and to end mass detention and deportation

Learn more about Sanctuary at:   www.ncchurches.org

Sign up for updates at:  www.welcometheimmigrant.org

Watch these videos about sanctuary:  https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004969152/safe-haven-the-sanctuary-movement.html            https://www.bravenewfilms.org/sanctuary      http://www.santuariofilm.com/trailer/

Want to help? Contact: Pastor Susan Suarez Webster susanswebster@gmail.com