Called as people of faith to prophetic action, the Church Council of Greater Seattle is walking alongside congregations as they discern and act in response to the current situation for immigrants and refugees. Several of these congregations, along with community organizations and allies, will come together on Monday, May 1 at 9 a.m. at Saint Mark’s Cathedral for a special time of prayer and commitment to action “Upholding Sanctuary: Re-Launching the Sanctuary Movement.” We will celebrate their commitments to hospitality and accompaniment for immigrants and draw inspiration for more congregations to step forward in public witness.

The Sanctuary Movement is a moral challenge to a policy and practice of criminalizing immigrants, as recent executive orders make any immigrant who may appear to be unauthorized a potential subject for deportation. The enforcement-only regime of raids, detention and deportation are an affront to the human rights of vulnerable families who seek merely to stay together, work hard, pay taxes and contribute economically and socially to society.

As our Executive Director, Michael Ramos, says: “Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples and the wider faith community are united by the perennial tradition of welcoming the stranger as neighbor, alleviating suffering, removing fear and humanizing situations of injustice through solidarity and systems change. Sanctuary is an expression of our spiritual commitments of hospitality, accompaniment and rapid response as part of the equity and social justice movement of liberation; ‘no one is free until we are all free.'”

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