From Steven Timmermans, Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America
January 30, 2017
On January 29, a gunman opened fire during evening prayers at a mosque in Quebec City, killing six people and injuring several more. This hate crime came two days after an executive order by US President Donald Trump that barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States, suspended refugee admissions, and restricted entry into the United States by travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
While the events in Quebec and across the United States are separate from each other, they both force us to pause and consider how the church should respond to the needs of Muslims, immigrants, and refugees among us.
Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony reminds us that “all spheres of life…bear the wounds of our rebellion. Sin is present everywhere – in pride of race, arrogance of nations, abuse of the weak and helpless.”
This testimony also reminds us that in a world of death, hurt, and hopelessness, “God has not abandoned the work of his hands: our Maker preserves this world, sending seasons, sun and rain, upholding all creatures, renewing the earth, promising a Savior, guiding all things to their purpose.”
As we take comfort in the fact that our world belongs to God, we also remember our role as agents of Christ’s redemptive work. In times like these, Synod 2010 instructed us to “speak out against and seek to reform laws and practices concerning the treatment of immigrants that appear to be unduly harsh or unjust.”
Here are a few resources that you might find helpful:
- Joining in Prayer After Quebec City Mosque Attack by Canadian Ministries Director
- Statement from Centre for Public Dialogue Director: “We lament and denounce hate wherever it reigns, particularly this act of religious persecution in Quebec City yesterday. Religious freedom and robust pluralism are essential for a just society where we all can flourish.” Mike Hogeterp.
- “Tell your MP You Support Stronger Refugee Resettlement” Action Alert from Centre for Public Dialogue
- “Tell Congress to Save Refugee Resettlement” Action Alert from the Office of Social Justice
- “Our Call to Stand With Refugees” blog post from World Renew
- “Statement on Refugee Resettlement” by World Renew