Ministries

Immigration & Refugee Ministries

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

—Leviticus 19:33-34

In dozens of countries around the world, people are pushed to the margins of life, driven out of their homes and communities by armed conflict, gross human rights violations and fear of persecution. Millions of refugees risk extreme heat in deserts, endure squalor in camps and brave voyages across turbulent seas for the chance to live in freedom.

Immigration and Refugee Ministries is committed to providing resources and services to our immigrant and refugee communities as well as to the congregations that are opening doors to them. The ministry actively maintains an extensive ministry of resettlement assistance for persons without homes and country, while providing a variety of resources to assist individuals and congregations on immigration awareness and reform.

The marginal people of Jesus’ day were his special concern. When we welcome the refugee–the stranger in our midst–we welcome Christ. Since 1948, American Baptists have been resettling refugees in cooperation with CWS’ Immigration and Refugee Program. This faithfulness has made ABHMS’ Refugee Resettlement Program a cornerstone of American Baptist mission at home in the United States. In the more than five decades since American Baptists began this ministry, churches have sponsored more than 93,000 refugees, providing them a safe haven and a new home.

Resources:

World Refugee Day 2018: June 20

As people of faith, we are called to welcome the stranger. As American Baptists, we have been involved in the ministry of refugee resettlement for 70 years. Since then, more than 100,000 refugees have been sponsored by American Baptists, finding new homes and new hope in the United States.

Under the current U.S. administration, according to ABHMS partner Church World Service, the refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018 was set at 45,000—the lowest level in U.S. history. Even more sad is the fact that the United States is on track to resettle approximately only 20,000 refugees this year.

We must ensure that our members of Congress do everything they can to see the administration meet at least the 45,000 refugee admissions goal and commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees next year.

Please share the above Refugee Council USA toolkit with your networks. It offers many suggestions for faith groups to celebrate refugees by advocating for them.

Take action to ensure that our leaders affirm the importance of the refugee resettlement program! Tell Congress to welcome refugees: Call 1-866-961-4293. Please call three times to be connected with your representative and both of your senators.

For additional information about ABHMS’ Immigration and Refugee Ministries, contact the Rev. Fela Barrueto at [email protected] or 800.222.3872, x2493.