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Thousands of Evangelicals Express 'Deep Concern' Over Trump Refugee Order

Trump Meets Evangelical Leaders

Evangelical Christian leaders from across the United States signed on to a petition urging President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to reconsider the immigration order which institutes a temporary stay on refugees from seven countries of terror concern and which decreases the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. on a yearly basis.

"As Christian pastors and leaders, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugee resettlement," the petition stated. As of Thursday evening, more than 3,000 people have signed it online, along with 100 evangelical pastors and leaders whose names have been published in an advertisement Wednesday in The Washington Post. Those 100 names include at least one pastor from every state in the U.S.

The leaders included Timothy Keller, author of The Reason for God: Faith in an Age of Skepticism, his wife Kathy, and the avid writer Max Lucado, among many others. Organized by the organization World Relief, the document also bore the signatures of World Relief's CEO, Tim Breene, and its president, Scott Arbeiter.

The order itself has been blocked, and on Thursday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously denied the Trump administration's motion to reinstate it.

The petition based its concern over Trump's order on the Christian duty to care for "the least of these." "Our care for the oppressed and suffering is rooted in the call of Jesus to 'love our neighbor as we love ourselves.' In the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus makes it clear that our 'neighbor' includes the stranger and anyone fleeing persecution and violence, regardless of their faith or country."

The petition continued (emphasis added).

As Christians, we have a historic call expressed over two thousand years, to serve the suffering. We cannot abandon this call now. We live in a dangerous world and affirm the crucial role of government in protecting us from harm and in setting the terms on refugee admissions. However, compassion and security can coexist, as they have for decades. For the persecuted and suffering, every day matters; every delay is a crushing blow to hope. ...

This executive order dramatically reduces the overall number of refugees allowed this year, robbing families of hope and a future. And it could well cost them their lives.