Southern Christian Coalition Calls on Blackburn to Support Refugee Resettlement

Advocate Andy

Group presses Tennessee Senator on refugee policy during advocacy week activities

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition called on Sen. Marsha Blackburn to support policies that would result in America becoming more welcoming to refugees. The move was part of Refugee Advocacy Week.

During the week, advocates and pastors called for a return to welcome at least 125,000 refugees per year, which closely resembles the number of refugees welcomed prior to the Trump administration.

Tennessee pastors noted in a statement in support of refugees:

Rev. Laura Becker, lifelong Tennessean and current Pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga called on Senator Marsha Blackburn to remember the long history of Tennessee’s identity as the “Volunteer State.” She shared how her church is currently home to “Bridge Refugee Services,” which is part of the refugee resettlement program in Tennessee that connects refugees to employment, housing, and schools. “We see firsthand how the refugees who come to our community bring skills, education and ideas that have made our communities stronger. I celebrate all that refugees bring to our community here in Chattanooga. As Christians we believe that all humans are created in the image of God and we all deserve to live with dignity and in safety. It is our Biblical call to care for the dispossessed and those who are vulnerable, and I urge Senator Blackburn to support refugee resettlement initiatives so that we can embody the best of who we are as Tennesseans and put our status as the Volunteer State into action.”

Rev. Don Jones, a native of Maryville, Tennessee, and Pastor of Sycamore Tree United Methodist Church, also spoke in support for refugees here in Tennessee.

"We can see refugees who lived in impossible and dangerous situations who have come to the US and shown us that no matter what our fears, we can overcome those fears together with a spirit of greatness and love."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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