The bishops of The Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and United Methodists in the State of South Carolina (LARCUM). Have sent a letter to Governor Nikki Haley in regards to refugee resettlement. Additional letters were sent to Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., President Pro Tempore of the SC Senate and James H. Lucas, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The text follows.
Dear Governor Haley,
We the South Carolina Bishops of LARCUM, Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholic and United Methodists are concerned about anti-refugee resettlement legislation that is being considered at this time.
Our denominations have a long history of welcoming refugees who are fleeing persecution, famine and war. We have helped settle into our communities Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and those of many other religious backgrounds. Our congregations have helped provide jobs, housing, school enrollment, language classes and transportation. Over the years we have also experienced the joy of watching lives being transformed into those of productive citizens. Aiding those in need of settlement is central to our Biblical understanding of what it means to love God and one’s neighbor. As Jesus says “when you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me.”
We believe that there are multiple levels of vetting and accountability currently in place by our government including Homeland Security that are sufficient and have served our nation well. Most of the refugees who come here have lived in camps between two and four years before the vetting process is completed.
Of course, we understand the climate of fear in our country today that causes some people to want to limit certain religious groups from being settled here in South Carolina. Our prayers are that you will not support legislation that seeks to restrict the resettlement of refugees based upon anyone’s religious background. It is important for us as leaders of almost 500,000 baptized believers that we do not encourage such exclusion.
In gratitude for your service,
The Rev. Dr. Herman R. Yoos, III, Bishop
SC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. L. Jonathan Holston, Resident Bishop
SC United Methodist Conference
The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Upper SC
The Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop
The Catholic Diocese of Charleston
The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop
The Episcopal Church in SC