When they come for our neighbors, what will you do?
By Rev. Alison Harrington
In the past couple of years, a growing group of communities of faith have stood up to stand in solidarity with immigrants facing deportation through the work of sanctuary.
My church in Tucson has been at the frontlines of this movement since the 1980s – and many of you have actively joined us on our most recent journey as we fought alongside Daniel, Rosa, their families, and the sanctuary communities across the country to stop deportations.
Your commitment to this movement and the safety of our communities is critical as we enter this new phase of U.S. history. The newly elected administration has pledged to target, detain and deport immigrants at even more alarming rates; register and discriminate against religious minorities; roll back LGBTQ, healthcare and reproductive rights; ignore the urgent call from indigenous communities to protect the environment and our future; and push through extreme criminal justice policies that will continue to disproportionately affect people of color.
There have been over 300 reported incidents of hate since Election Day – more than after 9/11. We need sanctuary spaces everywhere, and we need them now.
We must use every inch of the space we can claim as sacred, working to expand sanctuary until it includes every street corner in every neighborhood – and as people of faith, we can start in our houses of worship.
Sanctuary is a grounding principle that seeks to maintain safe places where protection is found from persecution. Sanctuary is a stronghold of love and resistance. It grants us a taste of reprieve and protection so we can gather strength to go out there again and fight. Wherever sanctuary is found, it is space that must be protected, it is a principle that must be defended.
We call upon our congregations and communities to go beyond talk of loving our neighbor to revolutionary love, so that we can live our faith and values by opening our doors and hitting the streets to create sanctuary alongside Indigenous, Immigrant, Black, LGBTQ, Muslim and Sikh communities to stop the violence and seek justice in all that we do.