Faiths unite in face of Trump’s immigrant ban
Groups condemn president’s policy
A GATHERING has taken place attended by people of different faiths in a condemnation of prejudice and discrimination following Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
The multi-faith event was held at Yiewsley Baptist Church, on Thursday February 2, and was organised by its pastor Rich Blake-Lobb in response to the US president signing an executive order, which barred citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from the Middle East and Africa.
Among those attending were people from Jewish and Muslim faiths, who signed a public ‘unity, welcome and peace’ statement, which will be sent out to faith communities in Hillingdon to enable more people to sign.
Rev Blake-Lobb felt moved to arrange the event at short notice because of ‘increasingly divisive rhetoric’ and ‘in particular the executive order of President Trump banning citizen’s from seven Muslim majority countries’.
He said: “The Bible clearly teaches that we are to love our neighbours and in this case that means standing together with people of all faiths and none in the face of discrimination and welcoming refugees, asylum seekers, aliens and strangers.”
During the event, held at the Baptist Church, in Colham Avenue, members from different faiths took to the floor to speak.
Rev Blake-Lobb added: “It was a wonderfully moving time to hear the passion of people from different faiths recognising and honouring our shared humanity, as well as apologies from those who expressed regret at being quiet on issues of discrimination previously.
“What was shared did not focus on individual personalities, but on the role we each can play in combating discrimination.”
The Standing Together statement reads: “We the undersigned have different faiths and beliefs yet are united in our humanity. We stand together and with our different voices seek to welcome neighbours and strangers with compassion and love.
“We recognise and affirm the role of governments to manage and maintain borders but do not consider vetting and kindness to be incompatible.
“We stand together in our opposition to discriminatory language, actions and abuse.
“We stand together in our longing for justice, mercy and humility.
“We stand together in our support and welcome to refugees, asylum seekers, aliens and strangers.
“We stand together seeking to love our neighbours as ourselves.”
Trump’s visa ban was ditched after a US judge deemed it “unconstitutional”. Since then the US federal appeals court has rejected a request from his administration to have it reinstated.
We stand together in our longing for justice, mercy and humility”
STANDING TOGETHER: Rich Blake-Lobb (centre, in suit and tie) at the multi-faith event he organised at Yiewsley Baptist Church; (left) US president Donald Trump