The Augustinian Recollects and the Catholics of El Paso take part in an inter-religious meeting in support of migrants, before the arrival of the new US Government
17-01-2017 Estados Unidos
Hosted by the Hope Border Institute, the diocese of El Paso (Texas, United States), has taken part in an inter-religious prayer meeting to support migrants and refugees, following the campaign of threats, uncertainties, and fear during the recent presidential elections, and the arrival of a new United States federal administration.
During the recent electoral campaign
in the United States
have been at the centre of the political arguments and they have had to hear threats
of mass deportations, walls that would create division, and the criminalization of their lives simply for having sought a better and more decent life after having suffered persecution, violence, or the complete lack of opportunities for the future in their places of origin.
At the end of the electoral process and with a new president-elect of the United States who will take office on the 20th January, many thought that the tone of the argument and the threats concerning migrants and refugees would be lowered. This has not been the case.
“We are witnesses to the fear
of many children who go to school and don`t know if they are going to find their parents when they get home again. Many youngsters, the so-called “dreamers” who have been able to begin studies with special permissions and have the hope of being able to complete a university course, find out that there are people who want to destroy these hopes
and dreams for being a part of society with full rights”, say the Augustinian Recollects in El Paso
, the Texan city located opposite the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez
, on one of the longest and most complicated borders on the geopolitical map of the world.
“We have been witnesses to the suffering of many people in Ciudad Juarez who have been obliged to flee under the threats of drug cartels or the hired killers who on a daily basis cause so much violence and harm in Mexico”, they added.
For all these reasons, on Thursday 12th January St Patrick`s Cathedral in El Paso was filled for the celebration of a special prayer service. Among the participants were several local political leaders, and representatives of the various religious communities in the city (Catholics, Protestants from various denominations, Jews, Muslims, members of the Zen community, Baha`is, amongst others).
Everyone wanted to celebrate their identity as a migrant community
, asserting the dignity
of all residents and coming together in solidarity “with all our brothers and sisters without papers”.
In the celebration, lead by Mark Seitz
, the Catholic Bishop of El Paso, a range of testimonies were Heard. Some were particularly scandalous, dealing with the suffering of these people and their families, frequently not understood and mistreated. After each testimony, one of the religious leaders gave a meditation and lead a prayer for peace, following which they lit a candle. Mark Seitz
offered the final reflection, encouraging the migrants and refugees not to be afraid, and emphatically repeating : “You are not alone
The celebration ended with the signing
of a “community pledge
” by all the social and religious leaders present. In this, the dignity of all human beings was defended. It will be sent to the new government of the United States
in the federal capital, Washington D.C.
And what do you think about this?