Faith Communities Support the NO BAN Act

Shoulder to Shoulder Camp
Apr 10 · 12 min read

Church World Service and Shoulder to Shoulder are proud to join our voices with over 90 faith-based organizations and over 200 religious leaders from across the United States in support of the NO BAN Act. See the letter below or download a PDF here.


April 10, 2019

Dear Members of Congress,

As 209 religious leaders and 92 faith-based organizations across faith traditions, we write to express our strong support for the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (NO BAN Act), led by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA). The NO BAN Act would end the harmful refugee, Muslim, and asylum bans put in place by this administration and establish vital protections against future discriminatory bans.

We are called by our sacred texts and faith principles to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner. Our congregations, synagogues, and mosques have historically played key roles in assisting refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants, and other newcomers with housing, language, jobs, and social supports necessary to integrate and thrive. Yet, over the last two years, the administration has undertaken a series of attacks against our refugee, asylum seeking, and Muslim neighbors. Together, the Muslim ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries, asylum ban that wrongfully and illegally blocks people who cross between ports of entry from applying for asylum, and refugee ban that seeks to dismantle the resettlement program deny vulnerable families their fundamental right to safety, condemn them to return to unfathomable danger, and prolong family separation. To restrict thousands of people based on discrimination forsakes our nation’s ideals of compassion, hospitality, and welcome.

We cannot condone excluding people based on their nationality or religious background, but instead must work toward inclusivity and justice for all. Religious faith or national origin should never be an obstacle to whether we extend a hand of welcome to the refugee or the immigrant. To close the door to those who are Muslim or of other faiths, is not a faithful expression of the principle that all are created equal. This manner of exclusion weakens what has made our country strong — a commitment to stand with the vulnerable, the oppressed, the suffering, regardless of their religious faith or where they come from.

Since the inception of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in 1980, the U.S. has been an international model providing refugees protection through our historically bipartisan public-private resettlement program. Refugee resettlement is an option for those who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing violence or for reasons of personal safety, and who cannot stay in the country into which they have fled. As a pillar of our national foreign policy, our nation’s resettlement program represents a standard of excellence that other countries around the world look to as a touchstone for their own policies.

Family unity is a cornerstone of U.S. migration and refugee resettlement, given the importance of family values in our country and the crucial role that a united family plays in refugee protection and integration, and it is unacceptable to see families being separated due to U.S. policies. People of faith are especially concerned by the implications of the historically low refugee admissions goal and the incredibly low refugee arrivals for particular populations of concern such as families seeking to reunite, religious minorities, and children. This low level of arrivals signifies an abdication of our nation’s leadership in humanitarian protection through resettlement. Similarly, we express our deep concern for the impact of low arrivals on religious minorities, including Christians, Muslims, and others who find themselves persecuted because of their religious affiliation and are thus left without options to safely practice their faith.

We are guided by our faith to love God and love our neighbors, whoever they may be. We cannot separate the two, and seek to be welcoming of all people because loving God means loving our fellow human being. We pray that our country reflects principles of both welcome and of religious freedom, and that we remember the value of diversity. At no other time has our moral responsibility to uphold these principles been greater.

The NO BAN Act upholds principles of religious freedom and our moral obligation to welcome. It would ensure that no one is banned from our country based on religious or nationality-based discrimination. The bill seeks important changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by outlawing discrimination in the entry of immigrants or nonimmigrants based on religion, in addition to the protections against discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, place of birth, and place of residence already in place. The NO BAN Act also amends the provision of the INA that has granted presidents the authority to suspend or restrict the entry of non-citizens by limiting this authority to align with responsible uses of the power by prior Democratic and Republican administrations, and by putting in place key congressional notification and reporting requirements as important safeguards against any future abuses of this authority.

We urge you to cosponsor the NO BAN Act and be bold in choosing moral, just policies that welcome, regardless of faith or national origin, and provide refuge for vulnerable individuals seeking protection in accordance with our nation’s highest ideals.


Faith-based Organizations

African American Ministers In Action

Alliance of Baptists

American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Bethany United Church of Christ

Billings Sanctuary Rising

Blessed Sacrament Church

BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz

Bridgeport United Church of Christ

Buffalo Immigrant Leadership Team (BILT)

Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Church World Service

Churches United To Save & Heal {CUSH}

Columbus Sanctuary Collective — Colectivo Santuario de Columbus

Congregational Sanctuary Working Group of Western NC

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

DC — MD Justice For Our Neighbors

Diocese of Atlanta

Disciples Center for Public Witness (Disciples of Christ)

Disciples Justice Action Network

Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries

Emgage Action

Episcopal Faith Based Organization

Equal Partners in Faith

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Ezher Bloom Mosque

Faith in Public Life

Faiths for Safe Water

First United Methodist Church, Missoula

Franciscan Action Network

Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Franciscans for Justice

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Glocal Partners

Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition

Illinois Conference United Church of Christ

Inter-Church Ministries of Nebraska

Interfaith Action for Human Rights

Interfaith Action of SW Michigan

Interfaith Alliance

Interfaith Coalition on Immigration MN

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Interfaith Worker Justice

Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Maine Council of Churches

Missionary Srs. of the Immaculate Conception

Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

Muslim Community Center of Indianapolis

Muslim Public Affairs Council

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Council of Jewish Women

National Justice for Our Neighbors

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Neighbors In Faith

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

NHCUCC Immigrant and Refugee Support Group

North American Climate,Conservation and Environment (NACCE)

Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors

NYS Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform

Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America

Pax Christi Metro New York

Pax Christi USA

Peace Catalyst International

Peace with Justice Ministries, Great Plains Conference, The United Methodist Church

Poligon Education Fund

Presbyterian Church USA

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Religious Sisters of Charity

Shoulder to Shoulder

Sisters of Charity, BVM

Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community

Sisters of Salaam Shalom

Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God


St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

The Church of the Good Shepherd

The Episcopal Church

The Hat Project

The Revolutionary Love Project

Unitarian Universalist Association

Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ)

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

University Unitarian Church

Wellspring United Church of Christ


WI United Methodist Committee on Immigrant & Refugee Ministries

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

Faith Leaders


Rev. John Mobley, Christian Church in AL-NW FL

Rev. Majadi Baruti, Udja Temple Ministries


USA Frank Bergen, Episcopal Church of St. Matthew


Pastor Mary Beth Kovanen, ELCA


Pastor Elaine Schoepf, Seaside Community Church UCC

Ms. Maureen Shannon-Chapple, InsightLA

Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman, First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, UCC

N/A Tahil Sharma, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

Rev. Keith Inouye, Wesley United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. L Barrett, UCC

Rev. Melissa Campbell-Langdell, All Saints Episcopal Church

The Rev. Dr. Joanne Leslie, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

Rev. Heidi Worthen Gamble, Presbytery of the Pacific

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Alloway, Presbyterian Church of the Roses

Rev. Mary Kay Will, United Methodist Church

Rev. Akiko Miyake-Stoner, United Japanese Christian Church

Rev. Sandie Richards, First UMC of San Fernando

Rev. Dr. Sally Howard, All Saints Church, Pasadena

Rev. Dr. Diana Gibson, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice

Bro. Mark Schroeder, O.F.M., Franciscans for Justice

Rev. Shinshu Roberts, Ocean Gate Zen Center

The Reverend Frances Hall Kieschnick, Episcopal Church

Rev. Dan Harper, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto

Rev. Elizabeth Griswold, Parkside Community Church, UCC


Rev. Wayne A. Laws, Mountain View United Church

Rabbi Deborah Bronstein, Congregation Har HaShem


Father Ronald Kolanowski, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

Rev. Kristina Hansen, Mary Taylor Memorial UMC

Rev. Persida Rivera-Mendez, Ministerio Nueva Creacion

Rev. Carla Dietz, First Congregational Church of Greenwich

Rev. Deacon Thomas Mariconda, Regional Deacon-Naugatuck Valley


Rev. Fred L Hammond, Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship


Rev. Dr. H. Julian Gordy, ELCA Southeastern Synod

Rev. Linda Jones, Barnesville First UMC


Sister Eva Mesina, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet


Pastor Laura Armstrong, Cole Community Church


Deacon Myrna Andersen, First Lutheran Church

Rev. Dr Douglas Wingeier, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Linda Eastwood, McCormick Theological Seminary

Rev. Kimberlee W. Vasko, St. John’s UCC — Lyons

Mr. Tom Cordaro, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church

Rev. Dr. Vilius Rudra Dundzila, Wellington Ave UCC

Rev. Sara Wohlleb, UCC

Rev. Cynthia Stahler, United Church of Christ


Rev. Dr. James Higginbotham, Earlham School of Religion

David Carlson, Franklin College

Rev. Paul Tché, Council on Christian Unity


Sister Teri Hadro, BVM, Sisters of Charity, BVM

Rev. (ret.) Jim Dale, First United Methodist Church

Sister Joy Peterson, Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, IA


Rev. Kenneth K. Grenz, Valley View UMC


Rev. Dr. Donna T. Morton, Fourth Ave. United Methodist


Rev. Rev. Richard Killmer, Retired Presbyterian minister

Rev. Jane Field, Faith Lutheran Church

United States Stephanie Richmond, Peace Catalyst International


The Rev. Dave Simpson, Christ (ELCA) Millersville, MD

Rev. Sandra Carlson Alexis, First English Lutheran

Rev. Patricia Hollinger, Church of the Brethren/Quaker

Rev. Karen Lee Scrivo, Unitarian Univeralist Community Minister

Rabbi Julie Gordon, Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation

Maryland (and Virginia)

Rabbi Charles Feinberg, Tifereth Israel


Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes, St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church

Rev. Allan Anderson, Crawford Memorial UMC

Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal, Islamic Council of New England

Rev. Dawn Adams, First Congregational Church of Brimfield, UCC

Interfaith Committee Chair Naim Assil, Islamic Council of N.E.

Reverend Judith Hanlon, Hadwen Park Congregational Church, UCC

Rev. Cheryl Kerr, Allin Congregational Church, UCC

Sister Betty Cawley, Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston


Ms. Julia Colingsworth, Holland First United Methodist

Rev. David Huseltine, Franklin Community Church

Rev. Susan Greenwood, First Congregational UCC, Coloma, MI

Dianne Morrison, Justice For Our Neighbors


Rev. Dr. Paula Nordhem, United Church of Christ

Ms. Mary Kozmik, St Paul’s Monastery


Sister Carol Boschert, Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O’Fallon, MO

Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler-Hoffman, United Church of Christ, Southwood UCC

Sister Danielle Bonetti, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Sister Carol Boschert, Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O’Fallon, MO

Rev. Charles Bahn, Brentwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Tyler Connoley, United Church of Christ


Rev. Michael Mulberry, Billings First Congregational UCC

Sister Mary Dostal, Catholic

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Yocum, University Congregational Church of Missoula

Dharmacharya Greg Grallo, Open Way Sangha

Rev. Jean Larson, retired, ELCA

Nicole Dunn, Order of Interbeing Member, Be Here Now Sangha

Rev. John Daniels, First United Methodist Church

Rev. Daniel Disch, Atonement Lutheran Church

Rev. Molly Sasser-Goehner Molly Sasser-Goehner, Immanuel Lutheran Church-ELCA

Anne Johnston, Open Way Sangha


Rev. Debra McKnight, Urban Abbey

New Hampshire

Rev. Dale Hempen, Retired

New York

Brother Jerry Rivers, Church of Christ

Deacon Jacquelyn Mize-Baker, Saint Peter’s

Rev. John Long, First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo

Rev. Dr. Scott Stearman, Scott Stearman

Sister Doreen Glynn, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, Middle Collegiate Church

Brother Jerry Rivers, Church of Christ

Elder Maria Studer, United Presbyterian Church

Rev. Merle Showers, University Uited Methodist Church

Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition

Rev. George Tulloch, Retired United Methodist pastor

Sister Rosalie Carven, Sisters of Saint Joseph, Brentwood, NY

Rev. John Long, First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo

Rev. Kay Woike, Church of the Nativity UCC

Mazeda A. Uddin, South Asian Fund For Education,Scholarship and Training (SAFEST), Gregory Meeks /Alexandria O-casio

Rev. George Tulloch, Retired United Methodist clergy

Sister Margaret Kimmins, OSF, Franciscan Sisters of Allegany

Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition

Dr. James Fairbanks, Saving Justice Newsletter

Rev. Micah Bucey, Judson Memorial Church

Rev. Luis-Alfredo Cartagena Zayas, Park Avenue Christian Church (DoC)/UCC

Father John P. Duffell, .Blessed Sacrament Church

North Carolina

Rev. Dr. Anne Gilson, St Philip’s Episcopal

Rev. Susan Steinbery, PCUSA

North Dakota

Rev. Donna Olsen, Hope 4 All Interfaith Community


Rev. Patricia Jefferis, Middleburg Hts Community Church, United Church of Christ

Rev. Kate Shaner, First Community Church

Rev. Dr. Suzanne Allen, United Methodist

Rev Dr. David Clary, West Cincinnati Presbyterian

Rev. James Brazell, (HR) PCUSA

Rev. Dr. Erwin Goedicke, North Presbyterian Church

Reverend Patricia Clary, West Cincinnati PC

Rev. Kathy Angi, Winton Hills Presbyterian Church

Sister Sheilamarie Tobbe, Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland

Shannon Schrein Sisters of St. Francis

Sister Ann Marie Chmielewski, Sisters of St. Francis

Sister Kateri Theriault, Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvanian, OH


Rev. Dr. Scott Taylor, Disciples Christian Church


Rev. Tara Wilkins, Bridgeport United Church of Christ


Rev. Linda Theophilus, Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Eastmont

Rev. Dr. Bruce Bouchard, St. Jacob’s (Stone) United Church of Christ

Deacon Holly Hoffman, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church

Nancy Miller, WE Care Initiative, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church

Rev. Ruth Sheets, U.C.C

Steward Minister Barbara Woods, St Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church

Mukaram Syed, Islamic Community Center of Lancaster

Rev Bill Bloom, United Christian Church, Levittown PA

Regional Judicatory — Mid-Atlantic Region

Acting Associate Conference Minister Alexander Vishio, Central Atlantic Conference — United Church of Christ

Rhode Island

Rev. Michael Coburn, Church of the Ascension

Rev. Kurt Walker, Chapel Street Congregational Church, UCC


Rev Allison Lanza, Ridglea Christian Church

The Reverend Tom Plumbley, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Mrs Cindy Wu, Access ECC

Immanuel Solomon, North Side Baptist

Rev. Dr. Paul Ziese, First Lutheran of Edinburg

Sister Cecile Roeger, Dominican Sisters of Houston

Rev. Dr. Clay Brantley, Grace Presbytery

Sister JT Dwyer, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

Ghandour Tarek


The Venerable Catherine Cooke, Cathedral Church of St. Paul

Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Springfield UU Meetinghouse, Vermont

Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Interfaith Bridge


Rev. Dr. John Copenhaver, Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church

Rev. Jay Campbell, Mount Vernon UMC

Dr. Margaret A. Johnson, President of the Board Margaret Johnson, Ezher Bloom Mosque

Rev Henry Brinton, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Dr. Larry Buxton, Virginia United Methodist Conference

Rev. Jarrett McLaughlin, Burke Presbyterian Church


Rev. Mark Lancaster, Generous Heart Sangha

Pastor Anne Hall, Lutheran Church in the San Juans

Rev. Dr. David Schoen, United Church of Christ

Reverend Wendy Taylor, The United Churches of Olympia

Bishop Kirby Unti, NWWS

Deacon Dennis Duffell, Pax Christi Northwest

Rev. Tamalyn Kralman, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Sr. Aneelah Afzali, Muslim Association of Puget Sound

Rev. Thomas Quigley, Edmonds United Methodist Church

Washington, DC

Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C.

Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, National City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, Adas Israel Congregation

Rabbi Mark Novak, Kesem


The Rev. Rebecca Ninke, Brooklyn Lutheran

Rabbi Renee Bauer, Jewish Social Services of Madison

Rev. Glenn Danz, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

Rev. Sonja Ingebritsen, Community of Hope UCC

Rev. Dr. Janet Wolfe, First Presbyterian, Marshfield, WI (retired)

Rev. Kelly Nieman Anderson, Christ the King Lutheran Port Washington & Living Hope Lutheran Saukville (WI)

Bishop Gerald Mansholt, ELCA East Central Synod of Wisconsin

Mary Weyker, Sisters of St Dominic Racine, WI

Sister Barbara Fisher, Racine Dominican


Rabbi Jack Moline, Interfaith Alliance

Sandy Sorensen, Director, Washington Office, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries Washington Office

Rabbi Professor Burton Visotzky, Jewish Theological Seminary

Sr. Rose Therese Nolta, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC

Rev. LeDayne McLeese Polaski, BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz

Rabbi Salem Pearce, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston, Disciples Center for Public Witness

Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, Moravian Church Northern Province

Dr. Sayyid Syeed, Islamic Society of North America

Sister Dominica Lo Bianco, OSF, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Sister Eileen Gannon, Dominican Sisters of Sparkill

Sister Maria Orlandini, Catholic

Dianne Aid, TSSF Dianne Aud, The Episcipal Nstwork for Economic Justice

Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie, Pacific University Center for Peace and Spirituality

Maha Elgenaidi, Islamic Networks Group (ING)

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Sister Sara Dwyer, ASC, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, US Region

Mr. James Winkler, National Council of Churches

Sister Dominica Lo Bianco, OSF, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Valarie Kaur, The Revolutionary Love Project

Marcia Jolin, Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

Rev. Reginald Smith Melissa Stek, Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America


Rev. Charlene Belsom Zellmer, DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network

Lay Person John Cheung, Northbrook United Methodist Church

Shoulder to Shoulder Camp

Written by

Shoulder to Shoulder is a coalition of 34 religious denominations and organizations committed to standing with American Muslims to advance American ideals

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