#IamaStranger Campaign

Dear Friars and Friends,

By now you are aware of the executive orders that President Trump has recently signed. These will adversely affect immigration into the United States. The moratorium on immigration from certain Muslim countries in the Middle East and the building of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border will greatly impact the lives of our brothers and sisters who are fleeing violence and seeking a better life, including refugees trying to obtain asylum and refugee status in the United States.

Today, we are launching a social media campaign to raise awareness and to advocate for our immigrant, migrant, and refugee brothers and sisters. Additionally, we hope that this campaign will serve to remind people that welcoming the stranger is part of our call as disciples of Jesus Christ, who said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me… whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25).

Jesus was a stranger and today Jesus is still a stranger – present in our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters.

Welcoming immigrants and refugees is therefore part of Christian discipleship. Reject President Trump’s recent executive actions which will limit immigration and which approved the construction of the wall at the U.S. Mexico Border. Say no to racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia!

Here are five simple steps:

  1. Print the attached #I Am a Stranger sign or hand-write your own sign featuring the following words: “#I Am a Stranger… and you did not welcome me” -Matthew 25
  2. Take a photo of yourself (friars preferably in your habit) holding the attached sign
  3. Post the image on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
  4. Be sure to include the hash tag #IamaStranger into the body of your post, as well as additional information you might want to include, for example:

    Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Welcoming our #immigrant and #refugee brothers and sisters is part of #Christian #discipleship. Reject President #Trump’s recent executive actions which will limit immigration and which approved the construction of the wall at the #US #Mexico #border #IamaStranger #FranciscanFriars #Bridgesnotwalls” #Christiansbuildbridges #nobannowall #heretostay #keepfamiliestogether #immigrantrights #refugeeswelcome

  5. Other hashtags can include #keepfamiliestogether #nobannowall #heretostay #immigrantrights, #IstandwithMuslims, #weareallimmigrants, #weareallrefugees and #refugeeswelcome.

Be sure to share yours and other Franciscans’ posts. The more Franciscans and other religious posting this important message, the stronger our statement against injustice will be.

Also, please make the posts public. If we can’t see it, it won’t be impactful.

Your brothers in Christ,

Ramon Razon, OFM and Christian Leo Seno, OFM

christian-i-am-a-stranger

i-am-a-stranger-sign

ramon


10 thoughts on “#IamaStranger Campaign

  1. Ithink a great statement on the signs would be; I Am Your Neighbor… The Good Neighbor story best illustrates this situation in my opinion. Could you consider adding that as an option? Also, I am an SFO, Can I do this as well?

    1. Thank you Mitzi, we wanted to bring attention the fact that we are called to love beyond those whom we consider our “neighbors.” The immigrant, migrant, and refugee have been demonized in this country and so we wanted to claim that “stranger-ness” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25. By claiming our minority (whether as “strangers,” immigrants, children of immigrants, people of color, etc…), we express our connection with our brothers and sisters who are kept outside.
      This campaign is for everyone and we would love it if you participated also!

  2. Thank you for making this happen! I am a minister of our local Secular Franciscan Fraternity in Canada. What has been happening in the U.S. is of much interest to us and is causing us great concern. We pray for your country and all those who seek safety, shelter and a place for their family to live in peace. I will ask my fraternity to help you, from our side of the border, here in Canada. It is my fondest desire that it will spread throughout Canada.

    Il Signore ti benedica sempre!

    Pace e bene

    Marzio Apolloni

    1. Mille grazie Marzio! May God bless you always! I would love to see photos of our Franciscan brothers and sisters up in Canada expressing support for our immigrant, migrant, and refugee brothers and sisters!

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