Over 100 evangelical leaders across the U.S. have signed their names onto a letter published in a full-page advertisement to express their dismay over President Donald Trump's executive order that temporarily bans refugees.
The advertisement, which was published in the Wednesday edition of the Washington Post, was sponsored by World Relief, one of nine organizations that are authorized to resettle refugees in the U.S.
"As Christian pastors and leaders, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugee resettlement. Our care for the oppressed and suffering is rooted in the call of Jesus to 'love our neighbor as we love ourselves,'" the evangelical leaders wrote, as reported by The Christian Post.
"In the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus makes it clear that our 'neighbor' includes the stranger and anyone fleeing persecution and violence, regardless of their faith or country," it continued.
Signatories of the letter include Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, bestselling Christian author Max Lucado, pastor Eugene Cho of Quest Church in Seattle, Wheaton College professor Ed Stetzer, and Open Doors USA President David Curry, The Christian Post reported.
According to World Relief, over 500 evangelical pastors and ministry leaders have signed the actual letter that will be delivered to Trump.
"This executive order dramatically reduces the overall number of refugees allowed this year, robbing families of hope and a future. And it could well cost them their lives," the letter went on to say.
While the Trump administration has reiterated that the temporary travel ban is meant to allow the review of the refugee vetting process, World Relief has maintained that there is no problem with the vetting system, which takes a minimum of 18 months for applicants to clear.
The executive order, which restricts travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries for 120 days and indefinitely bars the admission of refugees from Syria, was suspended by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart last week.
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments for and against the travel ban as the court considers whether to lift the suspension on Trump's executive order.
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