June 24, 2014
Humanitarian Aid, Pastoral Care for Unaccompanied Minors Needed
In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, NAE President Leith Anderson and other Christian leaders asked the administration for permission to provide humanitarian assistance and pastoral care at the detention centers for unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States from Central America.
Read the letter below, or download the PDF version.
The Honorable Jeh Johnson
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Esteemed Secretary Johnson:
As always we send our prayers for this nation and all those who govern. We are writing as Christian leaders who have been following closely the growing crisis around unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States from Central America. We know that the UN High Commission on Refugees has underlined a confluence of factors from increasing violence, poverty, and instability which have contributed to this major influx of children. We deeply appreciate the complexity of this crisis and continue to pray for a resolution.
As leaders of Christian churches, parishes, and relief agencies we are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to allow us to provide humanitarian assistance and pastoral care at the detention centers where these children are being housed.
Moreover, as Christian leaders we have a Biblical and moral imperative to provide a pastoral and compassionate response even while we seek long-term solutions to the root causes of this crisis. Our churches, parishes, and relief agencies have a long history of compassionate service and ministry during the most challenging times. Moreover, we have historically been at the forefront of ministry to children from juvenile detention centers to refugee camps. We request that we be able to provide the same type of aid in the case of these unaccompanied minors.
Our Christian commitment to provide a faithful response during natural disasters, prolonged famines, or civil unrest is what now compels us to advocate for the Department of Homeland Security to allow us to provide humanitarian assistance to these children being detained at the Southwest border and elsewhere. We urge for immediate action that will enable our communities to provide the so urgently needed humanitarian aid and pastoral care.
Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero
President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Most Rev. Eusebio Elizondo
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration
Rev. Dr. Leith Anderson
Rev. Stephan Bauman
President & CEO, World Relief
Mr. Richard Stearns
President, World Vision United States
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