Sanctuary in congregations
Religious and faith communities have a long history of providing sanctuary to those in need.
Today, many congregations are working to ensure all people feel safe and welcome in their communities.
Here are a few ways your congregation can help to create sanctuary everywhere.
1. Read and share stories of immigrants in sanctuary in congregations.
Hundreds of congregations are now part of the sanctuary movement in the United States.
Meet some of the people who have taken sanctuary in recent years, including:
Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, a grandmother living in sanctuary in North Carolina;
Jeanette Vizguerra, a longtime immigrant rights activist;
Ingrid Encalada LaTorre, a mother of two young children; and
Arturo Garcia Hernandez, a father and local small business owner.
- Read this reflection from David Poundstone, member of Mountain View Friends Meeting in Colorado, on his congregation's decision to welcome Ingrid into sanctuary in December 2016.
- And listen to this NPR podcast, Code Switch, in which Jeanette offer guidance to activists about how to support immigrants in sanctuary while respecting and following their leadership.
2. Get resources for congregations interested in offering sanctuary.
Listen to a recording of our national conference call "How to Offer Sanctuary," featuring someone who has lived in sanctuary; organizers and congregation members with experience in providing sanctuary; and an immigration attorney who spoke about the legal implications of sanctuary.
3. Take a stand against Islamophobia.
This AFSC resource offers ideas for ways your congregation can learn about Islamophobia, build relationships with your local Muslim community, and take action against xenophobic and anti-Muslim policies and practices.
Learn more by visiting our Communities Against Islamophobia project.
4. Learn about Quaker Social Change Ministry.
Quaker Social Change Ministry (QSCM) is a model for congregations and other groups to incorporate spiritual practices in their work for social change while following the leadership of communities most affected by injustice.
Watch our Sanctuary Everywhere Live! webinar on QSCM, featuring Lucy Duncan, AFSC director of Friends Relations, and Gabriela Flora, AFSC Colorado area program director.
5. Show your support for the Movement for Black Lives.
Last fall, AFSC endorsed the policy platform put forward by the Movement for Black Lives, a national network of over 50 organizations engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement to end state-sanctioned killings of African Americans and institutional oppressions that condone them.
We invite you to explore how your congregation can get involved.
6. Get involved in the struggle for immigrant justice.
Check out this AFSC resource for ideas on how your congregation can connect with affected communities, create space for dialogue, and work to make real change.