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!
- 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
- Take a photo of yourself (friars preferably in your habit) holding the attached sign
- Post the image on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
- 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
- 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