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As Politicians Target Sanctuary Cities, Faith Communities and Campuses Seek to Become Refuges


As Politicians Target Sanctuary Cities, Faith Communities and Campuses Seek to Become Refuges

Rebekah Barber

Dating back thousands of years, the concept of sanctuary stems from the custom of offering hospitality to the stranger. In ancient Greek cities, slaves and thieves took sanctuary at the shrines of the gods. During biblical times, those who had killed someone accidentally could take asylum in cities designated for refuge.


If Trump starts cutting funding, these cities, counties and institutions need to redirect employee pay withholding into an escrow account rather than being sent to the US gubmit.

As long as these jurisdictions are sending money to the gubmit, the gubmit is obligated to sustain whatever funding they have merited and continue to merit.


I'm proud to say that I know Jim Rigby, the Austin PC(USA) pastor quoted at the end of the article, and claim what we call "connectional" ties to several other Presbyterian churches currently and historically providing sanctuary. John Fife was arrested and prosecuted for his stand at Southside PC in Tucson in the first movement; he was later elected moderator of our General Assembly, and Southside's current pastor has also been quoted frequently on the 21st-century movement.

In the North, I'm also glad to have seen my child's boss, pastor of University Lutheran Church in Cambridge MA ("UniLu"), quoted in the Boston Globe about their work (my Bunny is Sextant and has been directly involved in the work) to prepare three Sunday School rooms to receive sanctuary seekers. UniLu is supported by several other communities of faith that don't have suitable facilities of their own. And the Archbishop of Chicago last week sent a letter to all pastors that, while cautioning against any declaration of sanctuary, gives explicit instructions about demanding (politely) warrants before granting entry to ICE agents.