The New Sanctuary Movement

Interfaith Calendar (5).pngWritten by Daniel Romero

What do restaurants, college campuses, streets, and churches have in common? A lot, as it
turns out, but before we answer that question let’s get political.

Scroll through any social media feed and it’s there. Turn on your T.V. or radio to any news
channel and it’s there. Newspaper? Magazine? Water cooler? Coffee shop? It’s there. “It” is him and what he’s doing to our country and to the world. In the run up to November 8th, 2016, we all watched 24/7 coverage of the car crash in progress and we knew what was in store for us if things didn’t turn around. After “Mayor 1%” was elected mayor of Chicago in 2011, I vowed not to utter or write his name as long as he held office and I made the same vow when I woke up on the morning of November 9th.

Since then it’s been one disaster after another, with real consequences and innocent people have lost their lives. In the disaster that has become known as “the Yemeni raid” raid on January 29th, according to media accounts, 10 innocent Yemeni women and children, and one American soldier were murdered. Heaven only knows what the actual death toll was and in the last 48 hours the drumbeats of a war with Iran have begun. Yes, we know very well what Barack did, and when he launched his killing machine that included the extrajudicial killing of American citizens abroad, I protested in the streets against him too but he’s no longer in office; the Orange Snake is. Recently, we hosted some First Nation guests at the First Congregational Church of Minnesota and one of them said that tribal elders are predicting that the Orange Snake will eat itself. One can only hope.

During the campaign and since the election, among the many groups of people who have
remained in his cross-hairs are immigrants and refugees and this takes us back to our original question. The increasing threats and attacks on the rights and dignity of our Muslim and undocumented sisters and brothers has compelled more than 800 churches all over the country to draw inspiration from the deepest roots of their faith “to love and welcome the stranger for you were once strangers in Egypt” and to declare that their churches, synagogues, campuses and restaurants as “Sanctuaries” of safety and compassion against the rampant racism and hate that has become the hallmark of this administration. As of this writing, more than 30 churches in Minneapolis alone have or will become part of the New Sanctuary Movement. Congregational partners within the Interfaith Campus Coalition have begun to form a sanctuary coalition and some of the churches have already declared themselves as sanctuaries and others are likely to follow suit in the coming weeks and months.

Forming a Sanctuary coalition is just one of the ways the Interfaith Campus Coalition is
resisting the megalomania and we invite all of you to join us.

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