The four leaders of the Anglican, Episcopal and Lutheran churches in Canada and the United States have called for the Season of Lent to be especially marked by “prayers and advocacy for refugees and migrants – on the run, in United Nations camps, in waiting, in our communities.”
In a joint message entitled “Remember the Refugees and Migrants” they called on Churches “to be continually mindful of the global refugee and migration crises, and the injustices and conflicts that have swelled the statistics to a number greater than ever in the history of the world.”
The statement was issued by Presiding Bishop of the US based Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Elizabeth Eaton, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz and National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Susan Johnson.
They said: “Given the current political climate in the United States, it is important to say that while both our countries recognize the need for measures ensuring homeland security, we also stand up for the long-established policies that welcome migrants and refugees. That is not to say any of them are not beyond reform. But it is to say that fair and generous policies strengthen the economy of our nations and enriches the social and cultural fabric of our countries. “Fair and generous action and deliberations” on refugees and migrants, the bishops say, “are from our perspective, deeply grounded in the Law of Moses, in the teaching of the Prophets and in the Gospel of Jesus.”
Ash Wednesday is a time, the bishops say, not just for personal repentance, “but indeed of the need of all humanity to repent of our indifference to the brokenness of our relationships, to the suffering of millions of people worldwide who are starving, oppressed, enslaved, or seeking sanctuary even if it be in a place far from their homeland.”