Presiding Bishop Eaton and Other Faith Leaders Issue Statement on Family Separation

Presiding Bishop Eaton and the Leadership Team of the Illinois Conference of Churches signs on to this Faith Leaders Statement on Family Separation and urges an immediate end to this policy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Faith Leaders Statement on Family Separation

Recently, the 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 wellbeing 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
Mr. Azhar Azeez President
Islamic Society of North America
The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera (Catholic)
Bishop of Scranton, PA

Chair, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.
Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Bishop H. Kenneth Carter, Jr. 
President, Council of Bishops

The United Methodist Church
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop Episcopal Church (United States)
The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister & President

United Church of Christ
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. David Guthrie
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference

Moravian Church Southern Province
Mr. Glen Guyton 
Executive Director 

Mennonite Church USA
The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens
General Minister and President 

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rabbi Rick Jacobs 

Union for Reform Judaism
Mr. Anwar Khan

Islamic Relief USA
The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller 
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference 

Moravian Church Northern Province
The Rev. Dr.  J. Herbert Nelson II 
Stated Clerk 

Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rabbi Jonah Pesner 

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
The Rev. Don Poest
Interim General Secretary 

The Rev. Eddy Alemán 
Candidate for General Secretary 

Reformed Church in America
Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III 
Presiding Bishop, The Eighth Episcopal District 

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
The Rev. Phil Tom 
Executive Director 

International Council of Community Churches
Mr. Jim Winkler
General Secretary & President
National Council of Churches USA
Senior Bishop McKinley Young 
Presiding Prelate, Third Episcopal District 

African Methodist Episcopal Church