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Syrian refugee children at the Jordanian border with Syria and Iraq. (CNS photo/Muhammad Hamed, Reuters)
Jesuit Statement on Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees

Dear friends in the Lord,

Christ’s Peace!

Below you will find the message of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, speaking for the Society in this very difficult moment in our nation’s history. Our Holy Father, our bishops, many of our apostolates, and so many people of good will have raised their voices in protest of the recent moves of the Administration regarding the closing of our borders to people who seek peace and a better life. The call to care for refugees is so deeply rooted in our Christian faith. I urge you to read this statement. If you wish, please do pass it on.

Let us all pray for our nation, its leaders, and especially for refugees for whom hope must now seem such a distant reality.

Gratefully in the Lord,

Ronald Mercier, SJ
Provincial, U.S. Central and Southern Province

January 30, 2017 — As members of a global religious order that works to form men and women of conscience and compassion, we denounce the Trump Administration’s Executive Order suspending and barring refugees and banning nationals of seven countries as an affront to our mission and an assault on American and Christian values.

The Jesuits — through our work in high schools, colleges, parishes and signature ministries such as Jesuit Refugee Service — have a long, proud tradition of welcoming and accompanying refugees, regardless of their religion, as they begin their new lives in the United States. We will continue that work, defending and standing in solidarity with all children of God, whether Muslim or Christian.

The world is deeply troubled, and many of our brothers and sisters are justifiably terrified. Our Catholic and Jesuit identity calls us to welcome the stranger and to approach different faith traditions and cultures with openness and understanding. We must not give in to fear. We must continue to defend human rights and religious liberty. As Pope Francis said, “You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian.” 


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