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Office of Social Justice News | July 2018

Protect Religious Freedom Action Alert

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the President has the authority to ban travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries, a practice which has been implemented since December, if the President deems necessary for reasons including national security. This precedent-setting decision opens the door to discrimination against people based on their race, religion, ethnicity, or country of origin.

While the Supreme Court has said that the policy is within the scope of Presidential authority, they declined to comment on the soundness of the policy. Now is the time to speak out about our values of welcome and religious freedom.

We urge Congress to support policies that demonstrate love for our neighbors without exception.

Ask Congress to rescind the President’s travel ban.

This action alert is from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

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IMMIGRATION - U.S.

Engaging Your Church

Are you wondering what you can do in this moment to work for immigrant justice? Start with your church.

Often, we can have the biggest impact within our own community. The Office of Social Justice wants to support you as you help your congregation engage this important issue in this critical time. With the support of the Office of Social Justice you can help your congregation learn about the myths and facts of immigration, reflect a care for immigrants during worship, have meaningful connections with immigrant communities and organizations, and effectively advocate for more just policies.

Learn more here and fill out this form to get in touch with an OSJ staff member to start exploring how you can get started.

REFUGEES - CANADA

Ontario backs out of federal plan for refugee claimants

Last week the Ontario government declared it would not assist the federal government or municipalities with addressing the increase of refugee claimants requesting status in Canada. Perceived threats to housing availability were the driver of this decision. The Ottawa Citizen helps break this down: 

  1. Housing is not a refugee claimant problem, it is a Canadian problem. 
  2. Blaming refugees for the housing crisis is also Xenophobia 101  
  3. Disengaging from one of the most urgent pressures facing the province’s biggest city is the wrong move at the worst time.  
  4. Stop falling into the trap of referring to people crossing the border as “illegal.”  
  5. What are we really afraid of? Refugees have proven, throughout our history, that they strengthen communities and economies. 

Read more »

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Travel Ban Update

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision last month upholding the President’s executive order to ban all immigrants from Chad, Libya, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, Somalia, and Iran. The ban limits travel access to the United States for roughly 150 billion people, 95% of whom are Muslim. Muslims have been immigrating to the United States since the 1500’s. It is estimated that around one-quarter of the enslaved African persons trafficked to the United States before 1860 were Muslim.

For more information about the U.S. Muslim ban, see this resource.

ABORTION

Pregnancy Care Centers

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling last month striking down a California state law requiring pregnancy care centers to provide clients with information about how to obtain an abortion. Pregnancy care centers are typically faith-based organizations which seek to provide women with all of their options when facing an unplanned pregnancy, including the damaging effects of abortion. It is estimated that there are more than 2,700 pregnancy care centers serving communities in the United States.

DO JUSTICE

Finding Hope in 2018

by Cindy Verbeek

Introducing our new columnist, Diaconal Ministries Canada board member Cindy Verbeek!

“I felt like if I wanted to reduce my impact on creation, I would have to crawl into a hole and eat locusts and honey, living a life of depravity and want. Stop eating meat, stop washing your hair, stop buying disposable shavers, stop stop stop.” Read more »

FROM OUR CRC PARTNERS

Racial Justice Film Week

from our partners at the Office of Race Relations

Looking for a way to celebrate the CRC's All Nations Heritage Week? Sign up to be a host site for the 2nd Annual Racial Justice Film Week. We’ll support you with a group coaching call, suggested movies, and a film kit for each one.

Getting Close to 100 Climate Witness Project Churches/Organizations!

We're getting closer and closer to celebrating 100 Climate Witness Project (CWP) churches/organizations, with CWP teams at 98 churches and over 700 partners! Thanks everyone for your involvement and support, let's keep up this momentum! Help us get to 100! If you'd like to be a partner, sign up at crcna.org/cwp-subscribe.

In Case You Missed It

  • Day of Justice -  Find resources for this denomination-wide Day of Justice at this page.
  • Biblical Advocacy 101 - Is it better to call, or write? What do I say? Learn this and more with our helpful US Biblical advocacy guide and Canada Biblical advocacy guide.
  • On the Road Together Towards Justice - Check out this review of Journeys to Justice, a new book about Christian social justice activism in Canada, as reviewed by Rev. Jim Dekker.