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Moderator Condemns US Travel Ban

Monday January 30 2017

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has condemned the US's ban on immigration from seven countries.

The Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr also supported the widespread demonstrations that broke out after President Donald Trump signed the executive order, which also halted all refugee admissions for 120 days.

He said: “The protests and the condemnation have my full support.

“History is littered with instances in which human distrust, xenophobia, and discrimination has sown hatred and conflict; our own desire for self-preservation taken at the exclusion of others.
“And yet throughout history the bible has called Christians to live beyond hatred and fear, demonstrating a radical hospitality where the stranger finds welcome and refuge is provided for those who are oppressed."

He added his support to the Rev J Herbert Nelson II, stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA), who on Saturday said: "This is a miscarriage of justice and goes against everything we stand for as a country shaped and formed by people who emanated from other lands." (Full statement here.)

Dr Barr added: "We must be vocal in our support for them as they seek to hold their government to account.
“As for us, it is vitally important that the Church of Scotland shines a light on this injustice, that we pray for  all those concerned, and that we act to make our own governments aware of Christ's call to care for others, not just ourselves and our own.”

Christian Aid added their condemnation of the measures today (Monday), with the charity's Head of Advocacy saying: "Trump would do well to read his Bible before enacting discriminatory policies."

Tom Viita was responding to President Trump's stated intention to prioritise Syrian Christian refugees. He said: "At the heart of the Christian faith is a clear command to ‘love the stranger’ and to stand with the vulnerable, whoever they may be. To follow Christian teaching means to welcome people in need - whatever their faith - not prioritise people who happen to share one’s own beliefs.
"A rejection of refugees, whatever their faith, is a rejection of Christian values."

Mr Viita also warned that the executive order was "...effectively ripping up the principle that every person, irrespective of their faith or nationality, has the right to seek protection and sanctuary.
"World leaders and ordinary people need to take a stand against Trump’s attempts to destroy hard won freedoms and human rights.
"President Trump is not alone in his abhorrent attitude towards refugees. We are seeing the normalisation of an increasingly hostile rhetoric towards people whose suffering is, frankly, beyond what most of us can imagine.
"More than eleven million people from Syria alone have been displaced from their homes, owing to the bloodshed of the six-year civil war in the country. The reality is that most Syrian refugees are hosted in, and by, developing countries. Rich nations, including the UK and the US, must not turn a blind eye to people in desperate need. Resettlement of refugees is part of the path to peace."

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Alex - Saturday, February 4th, 2017

“The USA has accepted droves and regiments of refugees over the centuries, so why the fuss for a mere 90 day travel ban? Just exactly how many people have been affected by the temporary measure?”

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