Refugee Crisis Letter, January 2016As a Monthly Meeting, we are deeply troubled by the world's current refugee crisis. Together we have written a response that in unity we feel expresses our beliefs and values concerning this ongoing tragedy. Below is the body of the letter as approved by our Meeting in our meeting for business on the 10th day, First Month, 2016. The letter has been individualized and sent to our Mayor, our County Council President, our State Representatives, our National Representatives, and our President. Copies of the body of the letter have been sent to our Quarterly meeting and PYM. We hope this is the beginning of our commitment to speak up for those uprooted by war, violence and inhumane conditions.
As we witness the misery of thousands huddled in camps along Europe's borders, fleeing from war and terrorism for safety somewhere else, our abundance of place and wealth here on the beautiful Eastern Shore is in stark contrast. Can we stand aside and refuse help to those who are seeking what our country holds as the promise for everyone—a life of freedom from oppression in health and dignity?
Our national commitment to the refugee crisis is inadequate and disproportionally small compared to the burden that European and Middle Eastern countries are shouldering. But for decades local faith groups have successfully partnered with officials to welcome, support and sponsor refugees. It is a fair and just response to sharing the earth's abundance and riches in our time.
Where fear and xenophobia are present, there is no evidence of increased safety in insularity, but rather an increase of suspicion, exclusion, and hostility.
Let us see Maryland be a welcoming place, building cohesion and inclusion among people that will stand as a foundation for peace in the future.
In this one way - welcoming strangers into our midst, viewing them as more similar to us than they are different—we can be advocates for world peace and attentive to the ancient words in the Book of Hebrews:
"Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be Angels in disguise."
Third Haven Friends Meeting