Sanctuary church opens doors to immigrants

Bethesda Presbyterian Church first in Montgomery County to institute policy

BETHESDA, Md. - A house of worship in downtown Bethesda has moved in direct opposition to the administration of President Trump by declaring itself a "sanctuary church."

The move was led by Reverend Charles Booker.

According to Reverend Booker, giving sanctuary to those in need is one of the oldest religious practices in human history.

"We knew it would be a symbolic action," said Booker. "We hope it is never necessary but this is a symbol of how to educate and activate other congregations, giving them perhaps the incentive to do this as well."

However, the church is prepared to back up their symbolic words with real action.

Church officials say they can easily shelter at least twelve people within the walls of the chapel and adjoining church house.

The vote to make it a sanctuary church, open to both refugees and immigrants, was made unanimously by its board members.

No refugees or immigrants have shown up yet, but the church is ready and has a simple message for those who might already be on their way.

Legal counsel has already begun research on what actions the church may take if federal immigration enforcement agents were to try and enter their property to detain anyone being sheltered there.


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