Maine Catholic

and other religious leaders in Maine condemned President Donald Trump’s ban on some Muslim countries, saying it goes against Christian teachings and what the country stands for.

The executive order approved by Trump on Friday has left many refugee families in Maine and their family members seeking entry into the United States “filled with anxiety and fear about what will happen to them,” Deeley said in a prepared statement.

“This time of grave difficulty for some of our brothers and sisters calls us to show our concern and solidarity,” the statement read.

The church stands behind the Refugee Immigration Services program of Catholic Charities Maine, which helps refugees fleeing violence come to America seeking compassion, care, stability and peace, the bishop said.

“Extending ourselves to refugees is particularly important in Maine, where jobs and opportunities await their presence and contributions,” Deeley said.

One example of Mainers embracing the church’s teaching of “welcome the stranger” is Catholic students from St. Thomas School in Sanford, who collected supplies and donations for refugees, one of the countless works of mercy displayed throughout Maine and country.

Those efforts “truly define the greatness of our nation and answer our baptismal call to serve the most vulnerable among us, regardless of whether they are born in America or are new arrivals,” Deeley stated.

The Maine Council of Churches, which represents nine denominations and 550 churches, on Monday asked politicians to stand up and oppose the ban.

“We ask our elected officials to recognize that new Americans of all faiths and backgrounds contribute to our economy, our community and our congregations,” the Rev. Jane Field, executive director of Maine Council of Churches said Monday in a statement.

Blocking access to the United States based on the nationality or religion does a “dishonor to our shared humanity,” she said. It also flies in the face “of the very principles this nation was built upon, and contradicts the legacy of leadership (that) our country has historically demonstrated.”

As recently as September, a business-led report called on more steps to be taken to attract more immigrants to Maine to boost the economy.

The report,”Making Maine Work,” written by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Development Foundation, said employers across the state can’t find enough workers. Maine has the oldest population in the country; more must be done to attract immigrants to Maine, the report said.

2016 Maine Labor Shortage New Mainers And Diversity by sunjournal on Scribd

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