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Bishops call for an end to separation of immigrant families

June 8, 2018

The message below is from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


A broad coalition of leaders from across all faith traditions, including The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, yesterday released a statement (below) calling on the U.S. government to end its policy of separating immigrant families. We Bishops of Virginia strongly support this statement and commend it to your attention.


Please join us in making your voice known to your congressional representatives. 


The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston

Bishop of Virginia


The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff

Bishop Suffragan of Virginia 





Recently, the U.S. Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our concern for the well-being of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained to hear this news. 


We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. 


Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.  


As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.


His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian

Diocesan Legate and Director of the Ecumenical Office

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America


Rabbi Rick Jacobs


Union for Reform Judaism


The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera

Bishop of Scranton, PA

Chair, Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs


The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller

President, Provincial Elders' Conference

Moravian Church Northern Province


Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.

Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church


The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II

Stated Clerk

Presbyterian Church (USA)


Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.

President, Council of Bishops

The United Methodist Church


Rabbi Jonah Pesner


Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism


The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry

Presiding Bishop

Episcopal Church (United States)


The Rev. Don Poest

Interim General Secretary

Reformed Church in America


The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer

General Minister & President

United Church of Christ


The Rev. Eddy Alemán

Candidate for General Secretary

Reformed Church in America


The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III

Presiding Bishop, The 8th Episcopal District

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church


The Rev. David Guthrie

President, Provincial Elders' Conference

Moravian Church Southern Province


The Rev. Phil Tom

Executive Director

International Council of Community Churches


Mr. Glen Guyton

Executive Director

Mennonite Church USA


Senior Bishop McKinley Young

Presiding Prelate, Third Episcopal District

African Methodist Episcopal Church


The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens

General Minister and President

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

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